Down Syndrome Essay

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Sometimes when meiosis ( the division of reproductive cells ) occurs, chromosomes may be lost, left behind, or too many may be passed on, resulting in the birth of a child with a genetic or congenital defect or disease. One of the most common of these genetic disorders is Down syndrome. This disorder takes its name from Dr. Langdon Down, who was the first to describe it formally, in 1866. Down syndrome is a condition marked by abnormal physical and mental development that is caused by a genetic defect. This genetic defect is caused by an extra chromosome. People born with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes compared to the normal amount of 46, 23 chromosomes inherited from each parent. This extra chromosome originates more often in the…show more content…
All children with Down syndrome also have learning difficulties to some extent and there is a large variation in handicap. In some cases Down syndrome may be discovered before birth through a test known as amniocentesis in which fluid is taken from around the baby and the fetal cells are examined for the extra chromosome. People with Down syndrome are usually exceptionally happy, gentle, and loving. As children, they need loving care and extra attention to make sure that their minds are stimulated. Special teaching is also needed to ensure that these children develop as far as possible. Until very recently children with Down syndrome had a very short life expectancy. More than half of these children died within their first year. Other Down syndrome babies were institutionalized soon after birth. Today most of these children can now be raised by their natural families, and many can lead adult lives that are satisfying and productive due to advances in medical treatment that have increased the life expectancy and improved the quality of life of those with Down syndrome. Today doctors are able to surgically repair heart and gastrointestinal defects, control infections with

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