What is Down's Syndrome?
is a chromosomal disorder caused by an error in cell division that results in an extra 21st chromosome. The condition leads to impairments in both cognitive ability and physical growth that range from mild to moderate developmental disabilities. Through a series of screenings and tests, Down syndrome can be detected before and after a baby is born.
Down syndrome occurs because of an abnormality characterized by an extra copy of genetic material on all or part of the 21st chromosome. Every cell in the body contains genes that are grouped along chromosomes in the cell's nucleus or center. There are normally 46 chromosomes in each cell, 23 inherited from your mother and 23 from your father. When some or all of a person's cells have an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21, the result is Down syndrome.
The most common form of Down syndrome is known as Trisomy 21, a condition where individuals have 47 chromosomes in each cell instead of 46.
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Down syndrome (DS) or Down's syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a chromosomal condition caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who described the syndrome in 1866. The condition was clinically described earlier in the 19th century by Jean Etienne Dominique Esquirol in 1838 and Edouard Seguin in 1844. Down syndrome was identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy by Dr. Jérôme Lejeune in 1959. Down syndrome can be identified in a baby at birth, or by prenatal screening.
The CDC estimates that about one of every 691 babies born in the United States each year is born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome occurs in all human populations, and analogous conditions have been found in other species such as chimpanzees.
Often Down syndrome is associated with a delay in cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.The average IQ of young adults with Down syndrome is around 50, compared to normal children with an IQ of 100. A large proportion of individuals with Down syndrome have a severe degree of intellectual disability.
Many children with Down syndrome who have received family support, enrichment therapies and tutoring manage to graduate from high school and are able to do paid work, and some participate in post-secondary education as well. Early childhood intervention, screening for common problems, medical treatment where indicated, a conducive family environment, and vocational training can improve the overall development of children with Down syndrome. Education and proper care will improve quality of life significantly, despite genetic limitations