Downs Syndrome Essay

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Down's Syndrome

Down's syndrome is a genetic condition involving an extra chromosome, this change occurs around the time of conception. A person with Down's syndrome has forty-seven chromosomes instead of the usual forty-six. A relatively common genetic disorder, Down's strikes 1 out of 600 babies. In 95 percent of all cases, the disorder originates with the egg, not the sperm, and the only known risk factor is advanced maternal age-at age 35, a woman has 1 chance in
117 of having a baby with Down's; at 40, her odds are 1 in 34. (Graves, 1990)

People with Down's syndrome all have a certain degree of learning disability . This means that they develop and learn more slowly than
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* Vision: Three percent of newborns with Down syndrome will have dense congenital cataracts which should be removed early. Glaucoma is also common.
* Congenital Hypothyroidism: This condition is slightly more prevalent in babies with Down syndrome. It should be detected by the routine heelprick screen performed on all babies.
*Congenital dislocation of the hips: Joint laxity and hypotonia can combine to increase the incidence of hip dislocation, although true congenital dislocation is quite rare.
* Sensory deficits: Significant hearing impairments occur in the majority of children with Down syndrome. Annual audiometry and specialist consultation is recommended.
* Atlantoaxial instability: Up to 15% of children with Down syndrome will have evidence of instability of the atlantoaxial joint but in only a handful of cases will this instability result in an impingement on the spinal cord with resultant neurological signs.
* Physical growth: Physical development is invariably delayed in children with Down syndrome. A tendency towards obesity requires special attention to healthy diet and exercise habits in this group.
* Dental care: The teeth of children with Down syndrome tend to be small, irregularly spaced and misshapen. Early and frequent dental care is

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