what is down syndrome ?

what does it cause ?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
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    What is down syndrome

    Down syndrome is one of the most common birth defects. Usually, children born with the condition have some degree of mental retardation, as well as characteristic physical features.

    What Causes It?

    Normally, each cell in the human body contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, which contain the genetic material that determines all our inherited characteristics. We receive half of each chromosome pair from our mother and the other half from our father. Individuals with the most common form of Down syndrome, trisomy 21, have an extra 21st chromosome.

    No one knows exactly why this chromosomal error occurs, but it does appear to be related to the age of the mother. At age 25, a woman has a one in 1,250 risk for having a child with Down syndrome. The risk increases to one in 952 at age 30, to one in 378 at age 35, to one in 106 at age 40 and one in 35 at age 45. However, 80% of children born with Down syndrome are born to mothers under the age of 35. This is because most babies, in general, are born to younger women.

  • 1 decade ago

    Known as trisomy 21, because that is the gene pair that carries the causative gene defect. It is one of those things that causes multiple defects in a baby, of various degrees of seriousness. It often occurs in older mothers, but can occur in any pregnancy. It can be diagnosed by amniocentesis during pregnancy..many of the Downs children are only minimally handicapped, but some have very serius problems.The kids are able to learn, but seldom attain "normal" IQs..

  • 1 decade ago

    As a mom of a DS DD, it means many things including dealing with getting the child's muscles strong as DS children have "floppy" muscles and lack control. It means longer training for ANYTHING including sitting, walking, and potty training. It means seeing many doctors and forming a team of physcians who will ably, lovingly care for your child long term. It means needing to have an excellent health care plan or getting one. My child is now had 4 pacemakers put in and has had over 2 1/2 million dollars worth of heart related surgeries, hospitalizations and treatments. Yes, you read that right. She's less than 6 y/o. That doesn't include the other needed treatments for eyes,shoes, and other conditions. We're very blessed because most of her issues are minor except for the heart. She is very active- we regularly see our ER for something!- and enjoys swimming, therapeutic horseback riding, outdoor play, computer time, reading and school. For our family it has meant going a very different road than we thought we would be on- a pretty major lifetime detour so to speak. Would we trade it? I don't think so. Of the pregnancies that are DS only 10% (!!!!!!!) of them are ever allowed to be born. That is sad. They are a joy to parent, challenging, yes, but boring, never! There is ALWAYS a ready hug or smile and a thank you for lots of things- even a smile after a blood draw or painful Dr. visit- and a ready cheerfulness that quiets any of my complaining thoughts. I cheer on any progress even more than I did my "normal" children ( I have others w/ Learning Disabilities.). They have also learned compassion and looking out for others, gained a deeper understanding of life and a broader sense of "normal". They have wept more, felt more and grown more. Would my other children trade their sister in for another "perfect" child? Perhaps on their bad days but permanently, No. They love her and would go to the moon for her. In the end, what does it mean? Well, for us it's meant many changes some pleasant, some suprises, some detours and some painful experiences but all in all she is our treasure from heaven! We are grateful to have her.

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