Down’s syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21 is caused by the inheritance of an extra copy of the 21st chromosome during pregnancy resulting in the child developing intellectual impairment, physical growth delays and distinctive features. Most children will require medical attention at some point, but they can lead healthy lives when looked after with appropriate love and care.
This genetic condition occurs 1 in 1,110 live births globally, therefore it is important that we have a good understanding of this genetic disorder. Here are some facts about the disease that everyone should know:
- Experts say that maternal age is an important factor- women older than 35 are more likely to give birth to a child with Down’s syndrome. If a mother has already had a child with the condition, there is an increased risk of subsequent pregnancy resulting in the birth of a child with Down’s syndrome.
- Individuals with Down’s syndrome have distinguishing facial characteristics — a flat facial profile, with upward slanted eyes, narrow teeth and small ears. Other common features include small build, small limbs, weak muscle tone, short neck and a single deep transverse crease on either palm.
- Individuals with Down’s syndrome are prone to certain health complications like poor immunity, visual and hearing deficits, thyroid disorders, respiratory issues, heart problems and neurological disorders, to name a few. On the bright side, these issues can be treated and managed which improves their standard of living.
- Down’s syndrome may be a genetic condition but it cannot be passed through generations. It is caused due to a defect in the chromosome and cannot be inherited.
- Back in the 20th century, children born with Down’s syndrome survived only up to 9 years of their lives. However, with the advancement of medical science and technology, life expectancy has shown an upward tick up to 55 years of age.
- While Down’s syndrome can’t be cured, early intervention can improve the quality of life. Certain treatment programmes including speech, physical, and occupational therapies work wonders for such individuals.
- Physical developments and mental abilities vary from person to person. Many persons with this genetic anomaly can grow up to hold jobs and lead healthy lifestyles, provided they undergo regular health check-ups and screening procedures in order to facilitate early identification and management of commonly associated disorders.
Down’s syndrome may have physical and mental implications but their future is gradually becoming brighter. Women with Down’s syndrome are fertile and may even become pregnant. With the help of medical sciences, their quality of life and lifespan has definitely improved. It may be a lifelong condition but there’s no stopping such individuals from reaching their full potential.
If you want to know more about this genetic condition or have a child with special needs, you can consult a specialist from the comfort of your home. Download the MFine app and get in touch with the best doctors from your city.