Down syndrome; whose fault?

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Down syndrome

Nothing you did or thought caused your child to have Down syndrome.  All individuals who have Down syndrome were born with extra chromosome material in their cells.   This is a result of an error in cell division, in either the egg or sperm, prior to conception or very soon afterward.  At this time it is not known why the extra genetic material causes Down syndrome.

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A child with Down syndrome can be born to anyone, regardless of age, race, socio-economic status, or where they live. People with Down syndrome are more like average persons than they are different.  First and foremost, they are individuals with their own personalities. In the last several years, the average IQ of a person with Down syndrome has increased. In people with Down syndrome, 39.4% are in the mild intellectual disability range of 50-70, and 1% in the borderline intellectual function range of 70-80 (average IQ in the general population is 70-130). They have unique talents, characteristics, abilities and disabilities, just like the rest of us.  They are brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, friends, and neighbors.  They work in banks, schools, offices, and restaurants. 

Down syndrome don’t live long — what is the life expectancy?

In 1929, the average life expectancy was 9 years. As recently as 1983, the average lifespan of a person with Down syndrome was 25 years. The dramatic increase to 60 years is largely due to the end of the inhumane practice of institutionalizing people with Down syndrome. As medical care continues to advance, the life span of many individuals will be even longer.

 cure for Down syndrome?

 There is no cure for down syndrome.  The extra chromosome will remain in cells throughout the person’s life.  Early intervention, high quality health care, good educational opportunities, appropriate nutrition, and many other interventions make a huge difference in the individual’s life, however.

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Chances of another child with Down syndrome?

Not necessarily, but advanced age is a risk factor. The type of Down syndrome your child has is also a factor. A Robertsonian Translocation could indicate a familial origin. People with Down syndrome are significantly predisposed to certain medical conditions including congenital heart defects, sleep apnea, and Alzheimer’s disease. There is also evidence of an increased risk of celiac disease, autism, childhood leukemia and seizures. Some research shows that people with Down syndrome who have certain heart defects or childhood leukemia are more likely than their typical counterparts to recover or recover quickly. More research is needed to assess actual frequency and recovery of such medical conditions in the Down syndrome population. However, many of these medical conditions can be treated, and many people with Down syndrome will not have these medical conditions. It is rare for a person with Down syndrome to have a solid tumor cancer or cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

Future for a person with Down syndrome?

 There is no way to know what the future holds for anyone. In most ways, however, babies, children and adults with Down syndrome are more like other people than not. Babies and children with Down syndrome need all the same love and care as their typical peers. Most adults with Down syndrome have the same aspirations and desires as a person who does not have Down syndrome.What we do know is that the future of people with Down syndrome in the developed and developing world has dramatically improved over the last several decades and is on an upward trajectory. In recent times many people with Down syndrome complete high school, more are going on to a postsecondary education and a handful have even received graduate degrees. Some people with Down syndrome live independently or in an assisted independent arrangement and a small but growing number have a romantic relationship and even get married. Many people with Down syndrome can work, volunteer and vote.

Down syndrome is named after the English doctor, John Langdon Down, who was the first to categorize the common features of people with the condition. Dr. Jerome Lejeune discovered Down syndrome is a genetic disorder whereby a person has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two. There are also very rare forms of Down syndrome (less than 6%) called Translocation Down Syndrome or Mosaic Down Syndrome in which not all of the chromosome is triplicated or not all cells of the body carry the extra chromosome.

Down syndrome is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder and the leading cause of intellectual and developmental delay in the world.

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