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Down Syndrome

What Is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that causes delays in physical and intellectual development. It occurs in one in every 733 live births according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46, having an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Even though people with Down syndrome might have some physical and mental features in common, symptoms of Down syndrome can range from mild to severe. Usually, mental development and physical development are slower in people with Down syndrome than in those without it. It is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder. Down syndrome is not related to race, nationality, religion or socioeconomic status. The most important fact to know about individuals with Down syndrome is that they are more like others than they are different.

 

Physical Characteristics 

  • An abnormally small chin
  • An unusually round face
  • Oversized tongue
  • An almond shape to the eyes caused by an epicanthic fold of the eyelid.
  • Upslanting separation between the upper and lower eyelids.
  • Shorter limbs
  • A single instead of a double crease across one or both palms
  • Poor muscle tone
  • A larger than normal space between the big and second toes

 

Health Concerns