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Monday, June 16, 2008

Down Syndrome

I read this explanation of Down Syndrome on a website and wanted to share it with you. This makes it very easy to understand for those of you who don't know a lot about it.

What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome is not a disease, but it is a genetic condition that affects the 21st chromosome. Instead of having two 21st chromosomes, people with Down syndrome have three. Even though people with Down syndrome have a lot of things in common, they are just as unique and individual as anybody else. Down syndrome occurs in one in every 733 live births. More than 350,000 Americans today have Down syndrome. The opportunities for people who have Down syndrome are increasing every day! More and more people with Down syndrome are graduating high school, going to college, working full-time jobs, and living independent lives. The cause of Down syndrome is unknown. While the chances of having a child with Down syndrome increases after the maternal age of 35, 80% of all children with Down syndrome are born to mothers under the age of 35. (I was 35 when I had my daughter with Down syndrome.) The vast majority of cases of Down syndrome are random occurrences that are not inherited. There is a rare type of Down syndrome called Translocation Down syndrome that is sometimes inherited by one of the parents, however it is still only a small percentage of Translocation cases that are actually inherited.

1 comment:

Bethany said...

My daughter has that "rare" form ... translocation. In our case, it was not inherited. Genetics are so interesting. :)