Down's Syndrome By Romeo Galaraga

What is Down's Syndrome?

Our body is made up of millions of cells. In each cell there are 46 chromosomes. The DNA in our chromosomes determines how we develop. Down syndrome is caused when there is an extra chromosome. People with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes in their cells instead of 46. They have an extra chromosome 21, which is why Down syndrome is also sometimes known as trisomy 21.

Frequency of Down's Syndrome

Each year about 6,000 babies are born with Down's Syndrome which is about 1 in every 700 babies. Between 1979 and 2003 the number of babies born with Down's Syndrome increased by 30%

Is Down's Syndrome more common in particular communities?

Down's Syndrome is most common in:

  1. The United States of America - approximately 360,000 people diagnosed with Down's Syndrome.
  2. Brazil – 230,000 people have been diagnosed with Down syndrome in Brazil.
  3. Mexico – 131,000 people diagnosed with Down syndrome

Symptoms of Down's Syndrome

Some symptoms of Down's Syndrome include:

  • Difficulty thinking and understanding
  • Delayed development
  • Lazy eye or spots
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Excess skin on the back of the neck
  • Hearing loss
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Displacement of the tongue

Genetics of Down's Syndrome

Down syndrome is caused by a random error in cell division that results in the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21.

Most of the time, the error occurs at random during the formation of an egg or sperm.

Testing for Down's Syndrome

Various screening tests can help identify whether you have a high risk of carrying a baby with Down syndrome, but they can't identify whether your baby has Down syndrome. Screening tests include the first trimester combined test, the integrated screening test and the cell-free fetal DNA analysis.

Screening tests can indicate the likelihood a mother is carrying a baby with Down syndrome.

Diagnostic tests can identify whether your baby has Down syndrome.

Prognosis

The life expectancy of people with Down syndrome increased dramatically between 1960 and 2007. In 1960, on average, people with Down syndrome lived to be about 10 years old. In 2007, on average, persons with Down syndrome

Treatment for Down's Syndrome

There is no single, standard treatment for Down syndrome. Treatments are based on each individual's physical and intellectual needs as well as his or her personal strengths and limitations.1 People with Down syndrome can receive proper care while living at home and in the community.

Bibliography

Evans-Martin, F. F. (2009). Down syndrome. New York: Chelsea House.

What causes Down syndrome? (2012). Retrieved from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/down/conditioninfo/Pages/causes.aspx

Down syndrome. (2017). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://school.eb.com.au/levels/middle/article/Down-syndrome/544405

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