Down Syndrome

By: Nicole & Stacy

What Is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a birth defect where a child is born with an extra chromosome on chromosome 21, so instead of having only 2 chromosomes they have 3 instead. Because of this the child's genetic material is altered and it effects the way that child develops.

Causes of Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome is usually caused by a random error in the cell division that ends with the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21. 90% of the times the extra copy comes from the mother in the egg however 4% of the time it comes from the dad through the sperm.

Symptoms of Down Syndrome

Physical: poor muscle tone, short neck with excess skin at the back of the neck, flattened facial profile and nose, small head, small ears, small mouth, upward slanting eyes. white spots on the colored parts of the eyes, short hands with short fingers, deep crease across the palm of the hand, and a deep groove between the first and second toes.

Intellectual and Developmental: short attention span, poor judgement, impulsive behavior, slow learning, and delayed language and speech development

Tests and Diagnosis for Down Syndrome

Tests that can be done to determine if a child has Down Syndrome are; screen tests, blood tests, ultrasounds, cell-free fetal DNA analysis, amniocentesis, chronic villus sampling, cordocentesis, and diagnosis tests

Treatment for Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome cannot be cured however early intervention programs with a team of therapists and special educators who can treat each child's situation are helpful in managing Down Syndrome.

Prevention for Down Syndrome

As of right now there is no possible way to prevent down syndrome however there are theories that if a woman takes a vitamin supplement with 400 micrograms of folic acid while trying to become pregnant is can lessen the chances

Places to Look in for more information on Down Syndrome

1. Book: Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parent's Guide (2008 Edition) written by Susan Skallerup

2. Website: www.ndss.org which is the National Down Syndrome Society

3. Website: www.kidshealth.org