Down Syndrome: A Genetic Disease

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“Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in extra genetic material from chromosome 21. This genetic disorder, which varies in severity, causes lifelong intellectual disability and developmental delays, and in some people it causes health problems. Down syndrome is the most common genetic chromosomal disorder and cause of learning disabilities in children.” ("Down Syndrome - Mayo Clinic")

History: Down Syndrome was discovered in 1866 by a British physician named John Langdon Down, which is where the name Down Syndrome came from. This genetic disorder was first referred to as Mongolism. The name Down Syndrome did not start being used until the early 1970s. In 1959, a French Pediatrician/Geneticist
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The only type of Down Syndrome that can be inherited is Translocation Down Syndrome which only 4% of people have. This is when the parents are balanced carriers, but still passes the translocation onto the child. The most common form is caused by something called trisomy 21. It is when you have an extra copy of chromosome 21. When the reproductive cells are forming in a parent, something goes wrong with the chromosomes. When something does go wrong, it usually happens in the egg but sometimes occurs in the sperm. This is from an error in cell division which leaves the cell with an unusual number of chromosomes. This all happens at a random time during cell division, leaving the child with an extra chromosome 21. Another form of Down Syndrome is Mosaic Down Syndrome. This type is very rare and uncommon. This is when something goes wrong after fertilization of the reproductive cell. ("Down Syndrome Causes - Mayo Clinic") …show more content…
Although there are many treatments such as different therapies to help children and adults with Down Syndrome, there is nothing to make it go away completely. It is a genetic disorder that can affect many people but cannot be controlled due to the cause which is mistakes in cell division. Over the years, the life expectancy for Down Syndrome has gone up significantly. In 1929, people with Down Syndrome were only expected to live until the age of nine. Today, the life expectancy is up to the age of 50 or older. Since the life expectancy is higher, it gives these people many more opportunities such as getting married like a lot of them do. Another great opportunity people with this disorder get is finding a job. With the help of family, friends, and the community, people with a form of Down Syndrome can do a lot on their own. Many People with this disorder may be limited both physically and mentally, but they are still able to live very independently.

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