A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome: Down syndrome (also known as Down's syndrome) is a genetic condition in which a person has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. In most cases Down syndrome occurs when there is an extra copy of chromosome 21. This form of Down syndrome is called Trisomy 21. The extra chromosome causes problems with the way the body and brain develop. Down syndrome is the most common single cause of human birth defects.

Down syndrome symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. However, children with Down syndrome have a widely recognized appearance. The head may be smaller than normal and abnormally shaped. For example, the head may be round with a flat area on the back. The inner corner of the eyes may be rounded instead of pointed.

Physical development is often slower than normal. Most children with Down syndrome never reach their average adult height. Children may also have delayed mental and social development. Common problems may include impulsive behaviour, poor judgment and slow learning.

Since Down syndrome is a condition associated with chromosomal abnormality there is no cure. The only thing we can do to help these people is to reduce the possibility of further complications in their body and to give them the love and support that they deserve. We can help their mental, emotional and social development. In the mental aspect herbal remedies and supplements might help.

Improved education and support has presented more opportunities to people with Down's syndrome. These include the option to leave home, form new relationships, gain employment and lead independent lives. However, it is important to remember that each child is different and it is not possible to predict how individuals will develop.

Screening for Down's syndrome: In some cases, babies with the condition are identified before birth as a result of antenatal screening for Down's syndrome. If screening indicates there is a chance your baby has Down's syndrome, further testing is available to determine how likely it is. Screening tests don't tell you for definite if your baby has Down's syndrome, but they can tell you how likely it is. The only way to get a definite diagnosis is for a chromosome test to be done using a sample of the baby's blood.

If you have any concerns about your child's health, discuss them with your doctor, health visitor or paediatrician.

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies


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