Down Syndrome

the extra chromosome - by Bobbie Douglas

Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder. There is a 3rd chromosome in chromosome 21.

400,000 people are affected by this disease. 1 out of 9 babies are born with this disorder. All races are affected with it.

Life with Down Syndrome

Characteristics of this congenital condition include mental retardation, slanting eyes, broad short skull, broad hands with short fingers. Poor muscle tone is one of the symptoms. They will have small heads, ears, and mouth. The facial profile and nose are flattened. People with Down Syndrome have a life expectancy of 60 years. They can live a normal life but may need some assistance.


Down Syndrome is cause by an extra chromosome in the 21st chromosome.The mutation is called "nondisjunction".
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Regular checkups and screening are very important. People with Down Syndrome are at higher risk for certain medical problems. Because of these problems, they may be on medication. Counseling and support are important to both the person with Down Syndrome and those who are in there lives.
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Other interesting facts

  • The disease is named for the English doctor, John Langdon Down, who who was the first to categorize the common features of people with the condition.
  • 50% of people born with Down Syndrome are affected with heart defects.
  • Trisomy 21 is the technical name for Down Syndrome.
  • The mother's egg is the source of Down Syndrome in 90% of cases.