Is there a cure for down syndrome?Can they have normal lives..normal children who wouldn't have the same disibilities in their chromosomes?When was down syndrome discovered and by who?How did it get the name "down syndrome"?How do people with down syndrome act and look like?How do they act or look different?What causes down syndrome?Is it just the chromosones that gives them the dissablility?What is the life expectancy for a person wit down syndrome?Okay lots of questions I know but I really need the answers and fast my reports due in like 5 days!!!
I would refer you to my blog, http://welcometoourhouse-myjournal.blogspot.com and also to the reference regarding Down syndrome posted as the second post in this FORUM for some of the answers you are looking for. Under my welcome banner in my blog are very common questions and answers that I think you are looking for.
In terms of your questions about Normal lives, Normal is a subjective term for many of us who live with Down syndrome (or Ds for short) in our lives. Our children/family/friends who have Ds can have different ranges of abilities, health concerns, and personal issues just like any other person, typical or with genetic abnormalities. Doctors have posted many articles about the cognitive development of babies/children/adults with Ds, and there is quite a range in development. Typically many children can have development delays the majority having mild to moderate delays and some having moderate and fewer having severe delays. But, with the onset of Early Intervention (a group of available therapies for babies and children with Ds) many children to adults are living much more typical lives, and are doing the types of things that many years ago they were thought not to be able to do. (Main stream schooling, college/university, jobs, marriage and independent living.)
The name Down syndrome comes from the person who first realized the syndrome, John Langdon DOWN, who did not himself have Down syndrome. Currently there is no cure for Ds, because it is a genetic arrangement, and typically affects every cell in their bodies - except for Mosaic Down syndrome where sometimes not every cell has the third copy of genetic material (meaning, not every cell has 47 chromosomes that is caused by Down syndrome - some have the usual arrangement of 46.) There are 3 different types of Ds, and if you visit my blog you will find a detailed explanation of the three: Trisomy 21, Translocation, Mosaic.
You asked how people look and act: I would say that just like how you are unique from others is the same way any one who has Ds is unique looking and acting. However, because it is a genetic condition, many people who have Ds, sometimes share the same charactoristics or traits but not everyone who has Ds has the same traits or characteristics. Some or all may be present just as maybe none are present. You can find a list of some of the common characteristics/traits in my blog here: http://welcometoourhouse-myjournal.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-journal-week-24-05feb10.html - The title of that journal is Down syndrome Characteristics
Does the chromosomes give them the disability? Not specifically. It is the arrangement of the chromosomes, having 3 copies of the 21st chromosome is what makes Ds what it is. Normally you have 46 chromosomes. In Ds, the 21st pair does not come together to form a pair, instead there are three copies of that chromosome. It can be from either the mother or the father that the extra copy is from, but the incidence of this occurring does happen more often with the mothers age being older. This joining of three copies happens right at conception. Not after.
Life expectancy: Many years ago it was thought that the life expectancy was short. 10-20 years old. As doctors and scientists have learned more about Ds, they have realized many of the reasons that life expectancy was so short was due to secondary medical and health issues like heart defects, and diabetes. Now, adults with Ds are living beyond 50-60 years old.
If you have any further questions please ask or message me directly or post here. Sometimes I don't look at the forum as often as my personal messages. You can also email me at ***@****, as I get those immediately. I wish you had more time, then 5 days to get some further information, but I hope this helps you.
Sandi (Dragon1973) Forum Founder/Moderator
To your question about is there a cure:
While I said there was no cure currently, doctors are discussing a few controversial topics such as facial reconstructions & plastic surgeries as well as Stem cell transplants as a sort of cure. There is no scientific proof that Stem Cells cure or change Ds, but the people who have considered it, say it has made a difference. There are other disputed "cures" out there, but to date nothing has been proven.
On that topic, many parents of children with Ds, are either for the possibility of a cure and many are not. Most parents believe that Ds is a part of their children and taking that away might change the personality of their children. So, this is a very sensitive topic.
Please remember I am not a medical professional only a resourceful parent of a child with Ds, a police officer and a Coordinator of a special needs group at the YMCA. If you require more specific answers, you should contact a doctor or resource book. Please look at the material I have posted at the top of the forum for other additional resources.
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