Down Syndrome

By: Maddie Smith

Symptoms of the Genetic Condition

People with Down Syndrome have symptoms affecting their physical appearance and function. Their physical appearance may include: a distinct facial appearance such as flattened facial features and slant of the eyes, a small stature such as short height, small head, short neck, a poor muscle tone and a deep crease across the palm of the hand. The impaired physical function may include: hearing loss, heart defects, and cognitive delays that range from mild to severe. Each person may have some or all of the symptoms to different degrees.

How Down Syndrom Affects Daily Life

Down Syndrome causes lifelong intellectual disability and developmental delays. Depending on the severity of the condition, people with Down Syndrome can be contributing members of society. They may be included in classrooms, they may participate in sports and the arts, and they may have meaningful jobs and relationships.

People with Down Syndrome have the same feelings that everyone else has. They will be hurt if they are ridiculed, they can fall in love, and they feel sad or happy depending on the situation.

The physical appearance of a person with Down Syndrome may affect that person’s life in that other people might judge that person to be incompetent. People with Down Syndrome, however, may be talented in many areas.

If the person with Down Syndrome suffers with hearing loss or heart defects, then that person would have to be medically treated, just as anyone else with those conditions.

A person with severe symptoms of Down Syndrome would need to have more care and supervision.

What is the Life Expectancy for a Person With Down Syndrome?

In the early 1900's life expectancy for a person with Down Syndrome was nine years old. When antibiotics were discovered, that number doubled. Most people with Down Syndrome died from the complications of their heart difficulties. With modern medicine, life expectancy is at least age 60 or older. Because of new technology and what has been learned about this syndrome, there is help for people with Down Syndrome.

Scientists at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, California have research that shows that mice with Down Syndrome have a lack of the protein SNX27

How Down Syndrome Got Its Name

In 1866 John Langdon Down, an English physician, published accurate descriptions for a person with Down Syndrome. For his research, he earned recognition as the Father of Down Syndrome. People did not recognize the symptoms of Down Syndrome before he made the effects more clear. Because of his first studies, other physicians were able to diagnose and treat people with Down Syndrome.

No cure is available for Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome may be diagnosed in the womb using these techniques:

Chorionic villus sampling— examines material from the placenta

Amniocentesis— examines the amniotic fluid

Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling —examines blood from the umbilical cord

Preventing Down Sydrome

If I were a scientist, I would prevent Down Syndrome by creating a cure using the protein SNX27. When testing positive for Down Syndrome in the womb, the embryo would get a shot of the protein. The shot would be given in the mother's side while she is pregnant. If the baby is born with Down Syndrome, the baby would get the protein shots and be monitored for improvement. The cure I would invent could change a person, a family, and the world.