Down syndrome

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by alihaskins
Last updated 8 years ago

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Down syndrome

About Down Syndrome

What is Down Syndrome?A genetic disorder that occours when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of the 21st chromosome. The extra genetic material alters the individuals development, leading to the charecteristics associated with Down Syndrome.

The Discovery of Down SyndromeJohn Langdon Down, an english physician, was the first to catorogize Down Syndrome as a mental disability. Little was known about the disorder until the 1950's when Kareotypes were invented. Until that point, extenisve prejudice existed against individuals with the disorder, resulting in a lack of medical treatment and therfore shorter life expecenties for those with Down Syndrome. In 1959 Jérôme Lejeune used a kareotype to determine that down syndrome was caused by an extra chromosome. The extra chromosome was labeled 'Chromosome 21' and the condition 'Trisomy 21.'

Symptoms and SignsA symptom is generally subjective, while a sign is objective. Signs of Down Syndrome include:- decreased muscle tone- flattened facial profile- brushfield spots- upward slanting eyes- deep groove between 1st & 2nd toesSymptoms of Down Syndrome include:- mild to moderate cognative impairment- depression- impulsive behavior- vision and hearing problems

Health Factors Associated With Down SyndromeIndividuals with Down Syndrome have an increased risk of suffering from:- dementia- cataracts- gastrointestinal blockage- sleep apnea- underactive thyroid- obesity

Is There a Cure?There is no specific treatment for an individual with down syndrome. However, steps can be taken to improve the individuals physical and mental health. For example, behavioral training helps a patient deal with frustration and anger involving the disability. Futhermore, special education is offered in most communitites to serve children with cognitive delays. Lastly, attending Physical and speech therapy can be beneficial for improving communication and motor skills.

Living With Down SyndromeToday most individuals with down syndrome can live a full and normal life, due to quality education programs, loving home enviornments, and good health care. Their life expectancy has increased from 25 to in 1983 to 60 today.

Why Down Syndrome Awareness is ImportantDown Syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition, occouring in one of every 691 babies. All individuals with Down Syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate. They attend school and work and are contributers in society. Futhermore, Down Syndrome individuals feel the full range of emotions, just like the rest of the population.


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