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What is Down Syndrome?

Posted Mar 14 2013 1:34pm

what is down syndromeDue to an error in the human cell division, an extra chromosome is introduced in human body (the 21st one) and this result in Down syndrome. It is a chromosomal disorder and it causes different physical an mental symptoms in human beings.

Generally, a fertilized egg contains 23 pairs of chromosomes. However, in case of Down syndrome, an extra copy of Chromosome 21 is present; this is known as Trisomy 21. This Trisomy 21 chromosome results into abnormal development of body and brain of a child.

Now, as you are wondering what is down syndrome, let us discuss some most interesting facts about down syndrome . Down syndrome can be identified before the baby is born if the mother undergoes tests suggested by the doctors. It can be detected after the baby is born as well and generally the mother’s age can have a probable effect on whether a kid will have Down syndrome or not. Maternal age actually is one of the biggest causes of down syndrome . In general, for mothers less than 30 years old, the probability of the kid having Down syndrome is around 0.1%. The same actually jumps up to around 3% for mothers who are more than 45 years old.

General Symptoms of Down syndrome

Certain physical symptoms of Down syndrome are:

  • The muscle tone is generally poor. The ligaments are found to be loose in people suffering from Down syndrome.
  • Deep crease can be visible in the hand palms.
  • The hands and feet are much smaller than a normal adult of the same age.
  • The neck is generally short in length and the ears are abnormally shaped as well.
  • The face is usually flat and an upward slant towards the eyes is visible.
  • You can notice white spots on eyes’ iris on a Down syndrome affected person.
  • A patient suffering from Down syndrome generally experiences other health problems as well, such as: hearing incapability, congenital heart disease, celiac disease, eye problems, skeletal problems, Dementia, intestinal problems, thyroid problems etc.

Apart from the physical symptoms: people with Down syndrome show slow mental development. They lack the social, conceptual and practical skills required to survive in daily life. They have low IQs and show delayed language development.


Treatment for Down Syndrome


Treatment for down syndrome includes: speech therapy, occupation therapy etc. If students with Down syndrome are given special attention, they generally integrate properly with other students. Professionals also suggest different exercises (Both physical and mental) so that kids with Down syndrome can improve their understandings on different aspects.

It may not be possible to cure Down syndrome completely; however, an early intervention ensures that a person with this disease lives an almost normal life.

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