What is Down Syndrome?

What is Down Syndrome?

Each year, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with Down Syndrome. Here is what you need to know about the medical condition. 

Two female young friends with down syndrome exploring sunflower iStock
Two female young friends with down syndrome exploring sunflower/ iStock

Down Syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome which are small “packages” of genes in the body. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The condition reportedly affects 1 to every 500 live births in South Africa.  

People who suffer from Down Syndrome will often display the following symptoms

A flattened face, especially the bridge of the nose. 

Almond-shaped eyes that slant up. 

A short neck. 

Small ears. 

A tongue that tends to stick out of the mouth. 

Tiny white spots on the iris (colored part) of the eye. 

Small hands and feet. 

A single line across the palm of the hand (palmar crease). 

Small pinky fingers that sometimes curve toward the thumb. 

Poor muscle tone or loose joints.

Shorter in height as children and adults. 

Therefore, it is not possible to fully prevent Down Syndrome. However, there are tests that can be done during pregnancy to detect Down Syndrome. 

Down Syndrome also cannot be cured, however, with professional medical help, those who suffer from it can be aided on how to live with the condition.

The medical professionals will come up with a unique treatment based on the individual's needs. The treatment will help those who suffer from the condition to better manage their physical and intellectual needs, strengths, and limitations so they reach their full potential. 

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Disclaimer: Health-related information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems. It is always advisable to consult with your doctor on any health-related issues.

Image courtesy of iStock/ @Mongkolchon Akesin

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