WHAT IS DOWN SYNDROME? - Down Syndrome is the collection of abnormalities that develop during a baby development in the womb and results from a inherited irregularity of the chromosomes.
HOW OFTEN DOES THIS OCCUR? - Down Syndrome occurs in every 660 live births. The mothers age can depend on chances of getting the mutation. The older the mother decides to have a baby the higher chance of having this mutation, as shown in the chart below. Also once you have given birth to a bay with the mutation, your chances of having another baby with Down Syndrome doubles.
IS THE DISEASE COMMON IN A PARTICULAR COMMUNITY? - no, this disease has been found all over the world in all different communities.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS -
Spots on the eyes
Difficulty of understanding and thinking
Bent little finger
Displacement of thumb
Delayed childhood development
Small bridge of the nose
HOW IS DOWN SYNDROME INHERITED? - most of the time down syndrome is not inherited, it is usually caused by a mistake during the process of meiosis.
DOMINANT OR RECESSIVE? - Down syndrome is neither dominant nor recessive. There is not a 'down syndrome gene'. It only occurs when the fertilised ova inherits an extra chromosome 21.
HOW CAN IT BE DETECTED? - a quick painless process, it involves removing some amniotic fluid out of the mother womb. The doctors use this fluid to test ans study the cells shed by the developing baby. However this procedure does have a 1 in 200 risk. Down Syndrome is an easy to spot abnormality straight from conception. Once detected the parents can decide to terminate the pregnancy or not.
PROGNOSIS FOR SOMEONE WITH DOWN SYNDROME - People with down syndrome may live a life of happiness. Their lives will be fuller, richer and filled with more love, some even getting married. in 1929 the average life for someone with Down syndrome was 9, but now in 2017 the average life is 50 or more.
MAGGIE'S STORY - We were both 39 years old, and we assumed our road to parenthood would be a bumpy one. I got pregnant with relative ease. So I assumed we had passed over the biggest hurdle. Though I had just a 1 in 100 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome based on my age, the thought of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality never crossed my mind. I knew lots of women my age and older having babies, and none of them had a baby with Down syndrome.
To be clear, I knew we could do it. My husband and I are educated. We have good jobs and supportive families. I've even been known to be a little pushy (I'm a reporter, go figure). So I knew we'd have the resources, social support and know-how to navigate bureaucracies to get our daughter what she needed.
POSSIBLE TREATMENTS - down syndrome really has no treatment but they can be helped out with a few things:
Self Care - physical exercise, special education
Therapies - speech therapy, support group, occupational therapy, physical therapy.
Devices needed - glasses, authotics.