Down Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis

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Down Syndrome occurs when a person is born with an extra copy of the twenty-first chromosome. The syndrome gets its name from John Langdon Down, an English Physician. In 1866, he published the first accurate description of a person with Down Syndrome; However, it wasn’t until 1959 that Down Syndrome was identified as a Chromosomal condition. In 2000, scientists identified and catalogued the 329 genes on chromosome 21, opening the door to advances in Down Syndrome research.

Down Syndrome has no known causes other than the something that causes the extra copy of the twenty-first chromosome to be present in the genetic makeup of a child with down syndrome. It is a natural condition and is not caused by anything the mother did or didn’t do Unfortunately, there is also not much a woman can do to prevent having a child with Down Syndrome; however, according to the National Down Syndrome Society, the age of the mother at the time of conception is linked to having a child with Down Syndrome. As stated by the National Down Syndrome Society, eighty percent of children with down syndrome are born to mothers under 35 years old.

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There are three different types of Down Syndrome. Trisomy 21 is the most common of the three. It occurs when there is an error in cell division and the baby ends up with three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two. This error is the result of nondisjunction. Before or at the time of conception a pair of cells in either the sperm or egg do not separate. This extra chromosome gets copied in every cell of the body as the baby grows.

The second least common form of Down Syndrome is Translocation. With Translocation there are still 46 chromosomes in all. The extra copy of the 21st chromosome is still present it is just attached to another, usually chromosome 14. The presence of the extra chromosome causes the features of Down Syndrome.

The least common type of Down Syndrome is Mosaicism. Mosaicism is diagnosed when there is a mixture of two types of cells,

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