Down syndrome, also called Trisomy 21, is a condition in which a baby is born with an extra chromosome. Chromosomes contain hundreds, or even thousands, of genes. Genes carry the information that determines your traits i.e. characteristics passed on to you from your parents. With Down syndrome, the extra chromosome causes delays in the way a child develops, mentally and physically.
The physical features and medical problems associated with Down syndrome can vary from child to child. While some kids with Down syndrome need a lot of medical attention. Though Down syndrome can’t be prevented, it can be detected before a child is born. The health problems that may go along with Down syndrome can be treated, and many resources are available to help kids and their families who are living with the condition.
Women older than 35 are more likely to give birth to a child with Down syndrome. Normally, there are two copies of every chromosome. In Down syndrome, there are three copies, either complete or partial, of chromosome 21. The characteristics of Down syndrome include low muscle tone, short stature, a flat nasal bridge, and a protruding tongue. Babies with Down syndrome have a higher risk of some conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. Doctors can use screening tests during pregnancy to estimate the probability that a child will have Down syndrome.
What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome is a condition in which a baby has an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are small “packages” of genes in the body. They determine how a baby’s body forms during pregnancy and how the baby’s body functions as it grows in the womb and after birth. Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Baby with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21. A medical term for having an extra copy of a chromosome is ‘trisomy.’ Down syndrome is also referred to as Trisomy 21. This extra copy changes how the baby’s body and brain develop, which can cause both mental and physical challenges for the baby.
Even though baby with Down syndrome might act and look similar, each person has different abilities. Baby with Down syndrome usually have an IQ (a measure of intelligence) in the mildly-to-moderately low range and are slower to speak than other children.