What is Down Syndrome?

Also known as Trisomy 21 is a condition in which extra genetic material causes delays in the way a child develops, both mentally and physically; affecting about every 1 in 800 babies int he world.

Who has the chances of being a victim of Down Syndrome?

The chance of having a baby with Down syndrome increases as a woman gets older—from about 1 in 1,250 for a woman who gets pregnant at age 25, to about 1 in 100 for a woman who gets pregnant at age 40.  But, most babies with Down syndrome are born to women under age 35 because more younger women have babies. 

Parents who have already have a baby with Down syndrome or who have abnormalities in their own chromosome 21 are also at higher risk for having a baby with Down Syndrome. 

What are the symptoms or signs of Down Syndrome?

 Most people affiliated with Down Syndrome have many common physical and mental features in common but the symptoms can range from mild to severe. Most people affiliated also have the IQs that fall to the mild to moderate range of Mental Retardation (a disability that causes limits on intellectual abilities and adaptive behaviors).

Common Physical Signs:

  • Flat face with an upward slant to the eye, short neck, and abnormally shaped ears
  • Deep crease in the palm of the hand
  • White spots on the iris of the eye
  • Poor muscle tone, loose ligaments
  • Small hands and feet

How is Down Syndrome diagnosed?

There are two main ways to diagnose Down Syndrome. One way is during pregnancy (paternal testing) and the other is shortly after the bith of the baby. Doctors order a karyotype, looking to see if the extra number 21 chromosome is present. 

What are the ways to treat or cure Down Syndrome?

Since Down Syndrome is a disorder of the chromosomes there is no cure. There are treatments to controlling some symptoms and medical conditions resulting from Down Syndrome. Children with Down Syndrome can be helped by special attention at school and by going to therapy. Usually, treatment focuses on controlling symptoms and any medical conditions resulting from Down Syndrome. Regular check ups, medications, surgery, and counseling are some ways to help treat Down Syndrome.

What are common medical conditions resulting from Down Syndrome?

  • Congenital hear disease
  • Leukemia and other cancers
  • Immune System problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Bone, muscle, nerve, or joint problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Eye problems
  • Seizure disorders
  • Developmental delay
  • Mental retardation
  • Premature aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
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