International Foundation for
At the request of Randy Engel, Director of the Michael Fund, I am writing you a brief letter to bring you up to date on preparations for the upcoming IFGR/MF clinical trials.
My name is Dr. Paddy Jim Baggot and, as many of you know, I have been conducting the IFGR/MF’s United States-based research program on cures and treatments for Down syndrome since 1996. In addition, I am currently part of the prolife medical staff of the Guadalupe Medical Center in Los Angeles situated in the epicenter of the city’s abortion industry. Last year alone, 200 babies were saved at the clinic.
Much of my Michael Fund research over the last 15 years has centered on the biochemistry of fetuses with Down syndrome. The results of this important research have been published in the prestigious medical journal, Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy.
Today, researchers are more aware than ever of the many factors that affect brain development in the pre-born child including the presence of neurotoxic heavy metals such as lead and mercury and various nutritional deficiencies including B6, B12, and folate. Nutritional and detoxification strategies can both be considered biochemical treatments.
There have also been great advances in programs of education and stimulation for children with Down syndrome of all ages. For the purposes of our clinical studies, the methods of Doman and Van de Carr have been adapted, transformed, and translated.
There is also world-wide recognition of the benefits of breastfeeding which contributes to the biochemical and nutritional well being and IQ of children across the board.
A “five-square” program for improving the outcome of births involving not only children with Down syndrome, but all children, would begin with biochemistry before (1) and after (2) birth, education before (3) and after (4) birth and breastfeeding (5) which is by nature biochemical/nutritional as well as psychological/educational.
An important part of our clinical trials will involve the measurement of therapeutic effects of various treatments. The medical profession already has a number of ways of assessing brain development. For example, there is the Capute scale which is easy enough for parents to use. Then there is the use of ultrasound and EEG (brain waves), and, MRI, the gold standard for fine structure assessment of the brain. I think it is important to point out to our donors that the most credible type of study in medical literature is a clinical trial. This is an experiment whereby one group is given a treatment (the study group) and another (comparison or control) group receives a different treatment, a standard treatment, or placebo (no) treatment. Informed consent is essential for patients who participate in the study.
A clinical trial can convincingly demonstrate the effectiveness of a new therapy, and justify its use. Without such a trial, any new treatment would be subject to challenge, criticism or even punishment.
These trials are difficult and expensive to perform. They require supervision by investigational review boards. In some cases, the professionals involved in the trials need to be blinded so they do not know whether the patient is in the control or study group. There is also the matter of formulating placebo treatments. Precautions must be taken to prevent biases from affecting the results. The more carefully clinical trials are conducted, the more convincing the results. Of course, this also adds to the overall difficulty and costs of the clinical trials.
I can remember my first conversation with Randy Engel after the death of Dr. Jerome Lejeune, co-founder and Director of Medical Research for the Michael Fund in Paris in 1994. At the time “gene therapy” was the latest vogue.
When Mrs. Engel asked me if I would be interested in carrying on the work of Dr. Lejeune here in the United States to find new cures and treatments for Down syndrome, at first it seemed to me to be madness. After all, I had been taught in medical school that disorders such as Down syndrome were “incurable,” and that the answer was to be found in prenatal diagnosis and the selective abortion of affected preborn children. Of course, this “health by death ethic” makes every disease “curable.”
But over the last 30 years, I have come to believe that what seemed impossible then, is possible today. The Michael Fund, from its very beginning” has always tried to light one small candle rather than curse the darkness.
I am very proud to be associated with the Michael Fund, and hope that you will continue to support our work with your donations and your prayers. A blessed Christmas to you and yours.
Dr. Paddy Jim Baggot
For the IFGR/Michael Fund
The International Foundation for Genetic Research/Michael Fund is an independent, non-profit and non-sectarian organization incorporated in the state of Pennsylvania. All contributions are deductible from taxable income [according to the IRS code, Sec. 501 ( C ) ( 3 )].