Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)

Biology Genetic Disorder Project

Why I Chose Down Syndrome

The reason I chose to do my research project on down syndrome, is because I babysit a boy who is in the 3rd grade at Sawmills Elementary School. I watch him and his brother on the weekends. His name is Jesse but he seems like the happiest kid and everybody treats him as normal as they can.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that is caused by an extra chromosome of chromosome 21. This is why it's also called trisomy 21.
  • Down syndrome effects the body it causes: A flat face, a small broad nose, abnormally shaped ears, upward slated eyes (Almond eyes) with small folds of skin in corners,large tongue, and only one crease in their palm instead of three.
  • Down syndrome generally affects the facial features of a person.
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Possible Effects

Younger Children with down syndrome:
  • They have hyperactive, disruptive, anxious behavior.
  • Sleep difficulties at night but very sleepy during the day
Older School age children:
  • social withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Sleep difficulties at night but very sleepy during the day
Older Adults:
  • Depression
  • social withdrawal
  • Dementia
  • diminished self care
More Effects on the body:
  • Slowed Learning
  • Short neck
  • poor muscle tone
  • extreme flexibility
  • single crease in palm of hand
  • a flatted face
  • upward slatted eyes
  • unusually shaped small ears
  • deep grove between first and second toe

The Cause of The Disorder

Down syndrome is a genetically transmitted disease it is not a mutation. A regular human has 23 sets of chromosomes and two sex chromosomes. During conception a new cell is formed and receives one copy of each chromosome from the egg and one copy of each chromosome from the sperm. Then the cell divides and that creates a baby and the baby carries 48 chromosomes just like every other human except for the people with down syndrome. If a person gets down syndrome its not the parents fault. What happens when the baby is being conceived is instead of having just two of chromosome number 21 it produces 3 of chromosome 21.
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Is it Inherited?

No down syndrome is not inherited. Down syndrome is a sex-linked witch means the reproductive cell has an abnormal amount of chromosomes. Either the egg or Sperm could have given an extra chromosome of chromosome 21 (trisomy 21). It is not recessive or dominate trait because it's something that just can't be prevented.
On Down -- Down Syndrome


There is no cure for down syndrome. So the treatment has to be focusing on controlling medical conditions and any symptoms that result with having down syndrome.

Down Syndrome Diagnosed?

Down Syndrome is diagnosed during Pregnancy or after a child is born.

  • A prenatal screening test. This test can show that a baby has Down syndrome, but it can't show that Down syndrome is for certain. If a screening test shows that the baby could have down syndrome then a diagnostic test can be ordered.
  • The other way is prenatal diagnostic test. This test can is the most promising that the baby has Down syndrome. Diagnostic tests carry a slightly greater risk to the fetus than do screening test.
You may want to seek genetic counseling especially if you've never been pregnant before. Genetic counseling is just something that helps you figure what health risks run if your family. Genetic counseling is your decision or some doctors may ask you to do it.
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How Common?

Down Syndrome is one of the most common birth defects. About 1 and 700 babies are born with down syndrome in the U.S every year. The Down Syndrome Society says there are more then 400,000 people that have down syndrome in the U.S. Down Syndrome can happen to anybody when they are born. It does't matter what age because if you have down syndrome then it happens when you're conceived.

What I've Learned!

Doing this project has been such a blessing to me. Getting to spend time with the little boy I babysit (Jesse) is such a blessing and me knowing he has down syndrome does't change how I think about him. But this project has made me realize all the things he has to go through. All the health conditions and changes to the body is unbelievable. I knew about the changes in the the face but i would have never thought that kids with down syndrome cannot form muscle tone or that they have heart troubles. But the most important thing I discovered is if these kids work for it they can be just like us because they are just like us. Down syndrome kids are a blessing from God because they certainly don't let anything or anybody stop them.