The researchers — based out of Monash University in Australia — believe that BTD-011 could help people with Down syndrome increase their language skills, reports Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
BTD-001 has been used for many illnesses over the last hundred years. However, it was its use as a treatment for dementia that caught the attention of lead researcher Dr. Bob Davis. Davis believe that history might make the ingredient useful for those with Down syndrome.
“Back in the 1950s and ’60s it was noted that people with dementia seemed to improve their memory and some of the things that they lost – memory and the cognitive ability, so the ability to think,” Davis told ABC News. Since that time, BTD-001 has been found to improve the conductivity in nerves in the brain.
Persons with Down syndrome — as a part of their disorder — have brains with a lower ability to store or conduct information. That is what led the researchers to begin their experiments.
Catherine McAlpine, head of the nonprofit group Down Syndrome Australia, says, “Clearly, if we can do things that help people with Down syndrome be more independent, then that’s a good thing for everyone.”