Down's Syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality that occurs during the fetal development stages prior to birth. A chromosome is defined as "a threadlike strand of DNA in the cell nucleus that carries the gene in a linear order. Also it is known as a tightly wound DNA (wikianswers)." There 23 pairs of chromosomes in the human body. Down's Syndrome occurs when an extra chromosome is present. This extra chromosome causes a person to be born with specific facial features and mental disabilities. Although this is a serious disability, each individual has different limitations. Most of the time, many experts refrain from making a list of all of the symptoms that can be associated with Down's Syndrome because of the variations in symptoms. But it is important to understand that each child that is affected with this genetic disorder has some form of mental handicap. However, some of the distinct physical features may include the following:
- Almond shaped eyes with light colored spots and creases on the side.
- Flatter noses and a small mouth.
- Having a protruding tongue and small ears.
- Round faces and short stubby fingers.
- Smaller heads that appear flatter in the back.
- Very short in height and sometimes may have bigger spaces between their big/second toe. (ABOUT.COM)
Although these physical attributes can affect how a person with Down's Syndrome is treated, there are several medical problems that accompany Down's Syndrome. Serious medical conditions are not likely to happen, however, there are some conditions that anyone who is dealing with Down's Syndrome should know about. For example, those who have this genetic disorder are often born with low muscle tone (hypotonia), vision problems, including having crossed eyes and blocked tear ducts. Many who suffer from Down's Syndrome also have hearing problems. The less rare symptoms include gastrointestinal defects, thyroid problems and leukemia.
To understand more about what causes Down's Syndrome, please view the following article:
There are several risks factors that may increase a couple's chances of having a child with Down's Syndrome. Your risk may increase if you are a female that has children at a much older age. However, it is important to understand that age is not the only factor. According to the Association for Children with Down's Syndrome, 80% of cases occur in mothers under the age of 35. Also, if a parent currently has one child with Down's Syndrome has a one percent chance of having another child with the same disorder. Even if a person is young, having a child with this genetic disorder is a high possibility if they are a carrier of the gene.
Written By: Te-Shandra Haskett, MBA
- UNDERSTANDING DOWN SYNDROME, NDSS
- LEARN ABOUT THE NATIONAL DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY!
- DOWN SYNDROME ASSOCIATION , UK
- GLOBAL FACTS ON DOWN SYNDROME!
- DOWN SYNDROME RISK FACTORS "MAYO CLINIC"
- TREATMENT OF DOWN SYNDROME!
- COMPLICATIONS OF DOWN SYNDROME
- SOCIETY STATISTIC ABOUT DOWN SYNDROME.
"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. — Proverbs 15:4 (KJV)."