Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder manifesting through an extra chromosome on the 21st chromosome. This phenomenon leads to various mental and physical disorders. Therefore, a person with Down syndrome may manage to live a healthy and independent life, or may need constant medical care and attention.
Reasons behind Down Syndrome
Normally, when humans are conceived, they receive 23 chromosomes from the mother and 23 from the father. Yet, in case of Down syndrome an anomaly is present in the genetic information which is transferred and the child ends up with 47 instead of 46 chromosomes. We are yet to find out why this takes place, as far as medicine is concerned.
Nevertheless, there are tests which can perceive Down syndrome at an early stage, allowing women to terminate the pregnancy, even though this step is often a matter of serious social dispute.
Women who are older than 30 have increased chances of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome, the chances being one in every 400. Moreover, if a woman aging 40 or more gets pregnant, there are one in 60 chances that she will have a baby suffering from this condition.
The Test for Down Syndrome
The diagnostic tests for Down syndrome are conducted inside the womb. Therefore, in some cases, these tests may result in miscarriage. So, only women older than 35 are advised to undergo this kind of testing.
When a baby is 11 weeks old, doctors perform an ultrasound scan, checking the area behind the baby's neck, trying to find clear space in the folds of tissue. If they discover that this area is enlarged due to fluid build-up, the baby suffers from some type of chromosomal disorder. However, taking into consideration that this form of testing is accurate in about 80% of cases, further examinations and blood tests are required for a complete diagnosis.
Lifestyle of Children and People with Down Syndrome
Individuals with Down syndrome have certain physical and mental distinctive features. Therefore, they learn slower that other individuals and have problems with learning how to use the toilet, speak, eat or dress themselves. Of course, these people can learn all these things, but it takes them more time.
Also, individuals with Down syndrome may develop or be born with numerous health problems which require medical care and assistance. Hearing and vision impairment may be some of these issues.
All in all, these people are different than most and will, therefore, lead different lives. Parents should give their best to support them and tech them about their condition. By working together, they can help children with Down syndrome live a happy, healthy life.