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Understanding Down syndrome

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Author: Jane Roberts

Down syndrome is Down syndrome is not a disease, disorder, defect or medical condition. It is inappropriate and offensive to refer to people with Down syndrome as "afflicted with" or "suffering from" it. Down syndrome is the most common of those problems. It is also known as trisomy 21. Down syndrome is the most common trisomy but there are other rare trisomies (trisomy 18 and trisomy 13). Use the chart below to determine your age related risk for Down syndrome and all trisomies. Down syndrome is one of these. At conception, instead of one number 21 chromosome from the father and one number 21 chromosome from the mother coming together, there is an additional chromosome resulting from an abnormal cell division. Down syndrome is a condition in which a baby is born with an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are small packages. Down syndrome is one of the most common genetic birth defects, affecting approximately one in 800 to 1,000 babies. In this country, there are more than 350,000 individuals with Down syndrome, according to the National Down Syndrome Society. Down syndrome is among the most common causes of mental retardation. Down syndrome is named after John Langdon Down, the doctor who first identified the genetic condition in 1866. When babies are conceived, they typically inherit 23 chromosomes from their mothers and 23 from their fathers. Down syndrome is an anomaly of chromosome 21 that causes mental retardation, microcephaly, short stature, and characteristic facies. Diagnosis is suggested by physical anomalies and abnormal development and confirmed by karyotype analysis. Down Syndrome is usually suspected after birth as a result of the baby's appearance. There are many physical characteristics which form the basis for suspecting an infant has Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder, resulting in impaired physical and cognitive abilities. Children suffering from Down syndrome show minor or major differences in their stature and physical attributes. Down syndrome is one of the most common genetic birth defects, affecting approximately one in 800 to 1,000 babies. In this country, there are more than 350,000 individuals with Down syndrome, according to the National Down Syndrome Society. Down syndrome is characterized by a combination of major and minor abnormalities of body structure and function. Among features present in nearly all cases are impairment of learning and physical growth, and a recognizable facial appearance usually identified at birth. Down syndrome is the most common birth defect in the United States. It was first described in 1866 and is named after John Langdon Down, the doctor who first identified the syndrome.
   
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