LDS Church, local research fund helps children around the world

by | Dec. 30, 2010

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In Africa, death is cheated when small children are given a tiny zinc pill to stop diarrhea. And iodine in the irrigation water drastically reduces cases of mental retardation in western China.

Those solutions and others to very real, sometimes deadly children's health problems can be traced back to Salt Lake City, where the significant but largely unheralded Thrasher Research Fund helps turn a scientist's theory into a life-changer for kids around the world.

Many of the world's health findings are built on a foundation laid by early research funded with Thrasher grants. Today, Thrasher grants are helping researchers develop a better diagnostic test for fragile X syndrome, a chromosome defect that causes mental retardation. They are funding study of whether donated human breast milk will improve brain development outcomes in very low birthweight babies. And Thrasher's footing the bill to determine at what point a high Body Mass Index in children and adolescents translates to high blood pressure.

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