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Down's Syndrome is it brain damage?

  While searching another link, it stated that Down's is a form of brain damage.  I have never heard this before.  I am interested because I am about to adopt a one year old with Down's.  Thanks Barbara

Dear Barbara:
It is critically important that you learn about Down's syndrome (trisomy of chromosome 21) in great depth before you adopt a baby with the syndrome.
Some basic facts:
1)  The average IQ of individuals with Down's syndrome is in the 40's (within the "severe mental retardation" range). They are more directable and have more manageable behavioral problems than individuals with other causes of mental retardation
2)  The IQ of such individuals may deteriorate slightly with age. Most Down's survivors into middle age develop Alzheimer's disease, which manifests somewhat differently in these individuals than it might in the average lederly individual with Alzheimer's disease.
3)  Individuals with Down's syndrome are more prone to develop a dislocation of their upper cervical vertebrae with possible resultant cord compression, if injured.
4)  They are also more prone to some other medical problems, the most important one being a high incidence of congenital heart disease.
I strongly encourage you to read about the syndrome from a local general or medical library.

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