This is a body disorder genetically caused whereby the patient bears extra chromosome in each cell summing up to 47 instead of 46. The most common type of Down syndrome is known as trisomy 21 which is a dysfunction in the cell division making the sperm or egg cell to have an extra chromosome 21 during the period of cell conception.
What is Down Syndrome
This condition impairs the patient’s physical growth especially on the facial structures and inhibiting intellectual growth.
Mosaic Down syndrome takes place through cell combination with the standard number of chromosomes with the ones with a third chromosome thus leading to a patient’s physical and mental development to be affected.
Effects of Down Syndrome
The syndrome affects the facial structure of the baby, whereby the baby is born with a tiny face and a shorter neck. The face and ears are flattened, and the eyes slant upwards, and the ears position itself lower than it’s supposed to be on an average baby.
The baby’s tongue overgrows and becomes extra-large in proportion to the mouth. The hands are also affected whereby they become large with small fingers, and the joints become unusually flexible.
Down syndrome majorly affects the patient’s growth as it inhibits the cells responsible for growth in height of infants. They have stunted growth.
Down Syndrome Adults
As adults their maximum growth is up to 5 feet 1 inches for male and 4 feet 9 inches for the female, as they adults grow to old age, they experience obesity.
The syndrome affects the intellectual functioning making the IQ fall from mild to moderate range of the mental retardation.
This majorly affects the child’s social life as he or she faces challenges in grasping concepts being taught at school and also affects their behaviors.
Babies with Down syndrome experience disturbances of autonomic nervous system and also suffer from congenital hypothyroidism which is caused by them having a lower basal metabolism which is an enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Kids with Down Syndrome
This condition can be detected at an early stage for newborn babies by frequent blood tests for hypothyroidism.
A lot of research on the syndrome has shown that infants with the condition lose their hearing capacity by more than 15 to 20 decibels annually.
The ear structure is affected whereby the bones of inner and middle ear develop unusually differently.
The majority of the children with this condition have heart-related diseases where there is a start of pulmonary hypertension at an early stage and high blood pressure in the lungs.
The major heart defects are continuous ductus arteriosus, tetralogy of fallout, functioning hindrance of the ventricle and atrial septal to the pumping of blood.
This heart effect can be identified at an early stage through an echocardiogram whereby it can be prevented through surgery before the start of pulmonary hypertension.
Down syndrome cannot be prevented because it is a genetical disorder; thus couples should consider consulting a genetic counselor as part of their family planning strategy.
How to keep kids with Down Syndrome safe and happy
For children already born with Down syndrome, engage them in stimulation programs to help them develop skills despite the brain disorder.
You can also consider involving the child in special curriculum and majorly involve them in leisure activities.
Lastly, consult other friends and relatives with a similar condition on how to go about with it and don’t forget to make frequent visits to a genetic counselor.
I hope this article has equipped you with ultimate knowledge on Down syndrome and how to detect it early.
Consider researching your family background to establish whether a relative had the syndrome to get prepared for it as it is genetically transmitted.