About Down Syndrome

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The Power of Chromosome

The factors that have influence over a Down syndrome child’s impairments occur before conception.  Before reproduction occurs, a single cell with 46 chromosomes is copied and divided through a process called meiosis, resulting in sex cells with 23 (half) chromosomes within the mother and father. 

 

When non-disjunction occurs, chromosomes divide unevenly, resulting in sex cells having one extra or one less chromosome.  Within Down syndrome, this results in one extra 21st chromosome also known as "trisomy 21".  Fertilization of this sex cell will result in a fetus containing 47 chromosomes instead of 46.

It is this third 21st chromosome that affects physical characteristics and developmental delays.  

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Different but the Same

Individuals with Down syndrome are able to live fulfilling and rewarding lives.  Just like everyone else they have likes and dislikes, hobbies and relationships.  They can get educations, hold jobs, have children and live on their own if they choose.  The severity of this syndrome varies between each person.

Down syndrome affects

1/700 births in the UK

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