Down syndrome, or trisomy 21, is a disorder from birth characterized by a flattened face, upward slanting eyes, tongue protrusion, low muscle tone, small hands and feet, and intellectual disability. Down syndrome is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21, making for 3 copies of chromosome 21, whereas a normal body only has 2 copies. The older a woman is when she has a child, the more likely the child is to have down syndrome. Children with down syndrome may be at increased risk for heart defects, gastrointestinal problems, leukemia, dementia/Alzheimer's, obesity, immune disorders, spinal issues, sleep apnea, and/or other health problems. There are three different types of down syndrome: trisomy 21, mosaic down syndrome, and translocation down syndrome. Down syndrome is typically treated with routine medical care, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and behavioral therapy. It is also important to have a good support system of family and friends. Despite the many challenges, many people with down syndrome can live joyful and productive lives.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, April 6). Facts about down syndrome. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/downsyndrome.html.
Cleveland Clinic. (2020, May 30). Down syndrome. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17818-down-syndrome.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018, March 8). Down syndrome. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/down-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20355977.
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. (2018, January 25). Down syndrome. National Institutes of Health. https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/10247/down-syndrome.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2020, November 23). Down syndrome. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/downsyndrome.html.