Down Syndrome is a genetic condition that affects an individual’s physical and mental development. It was first described in 1866 by English doctor John Langdon Down, who identified the syndrome after noticing similarities between people with similar facial features as well as intellectual disability. The cause of Down Syndrome is usually due to a random error during cell division involving chromosome 21, resulting in three copies of this chromosome instead of two. This extra copy leads to developmental changes which can affect both physical and cognitive development. The most common physical characteristics associated with Down Syndrome include low muscle tone, small stature, flat facial profile, wide-set eyes and shorter limbs. Individuals with the disorder are also more likely to experience hearing impairments, vision problems or heart defects at birth. In addition to these physical traits, individuals living with Down Syndrome often have difficulties learning and communicating due to cognitive delays caused by their chromosomal abnormality. They may learn slowly and struggle with language skills such as speaking or understanding directions or questions posed by others. Despite the challenges faced by those living with Down Syndrome, it is possible for them lead meaningful lives within their communities when provided adequate support from family members and health professionals alike. With proper nutrition, early intervention therapies such as speech therapy and occupational therapy can help improve motor skills while educational opportunities can give children the chance to access age appropriate curriculums that meet their needs better than traditional classes do alone. Additionally there are many adaptive technologies available today that help level the playing field for individuals affected by this disorder so they can enjoy activities like those without disabilities.

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Popular Questions About Down Syndrome

What are the odds of Getting Down syndrome?
Babies born with Down syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21. The risk of Down syndrome goes up with maternal age. At age 20, the odds of a baby with Downs syndrome are 1 in 1,500. At age 35, they go up to 1 in 350. By age 43, the odds are 1 in 50.
Why is it called "Down syndrome"?
Down syndrome (DS), also called Trisomy 21, is a condition in which a person is born with an extra chromosome. Chromosomes contain hundreds, or even thousands, of genes. Genes carry the information that determines your traits (features or characteristics passed on to you from your parents).
What are some interesting facts about Down syndrome?
31 facts about Down syndromePeople with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of the typical 46.Down syndrome is not an illness or disease (you can’t catch it), it is a genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra 21st chromosome.It is Down syndrome, not Downs, and people have Down syndrome they are not Down syndrome.
How do I know if I have Down syndrome?
Occasionally, but not always, infants with Down syndrome show subtle signs, called soft markers, 6 on an ultrasound that suggest they may have Down syndrome:A shorter-than-normal femur (thigh) boneA missing nose bone in the first trimesterDuodenal atresia: This abnormality of the duodenum, a part of the small intestine, will show up on an ultrasound as a double bubble caused by extra fluid and swelling in Certain heart defectsGastrointestinal blockages
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