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Down syndrome Essay

  • Submitted by: hyahflid15
  • on December 4, 2008
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 630 words

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Below is an essay on "Down syndrome" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Down Syndrome
Down syndrome was first studied in 1866 by Dr. John Langdon Down, a physician in England with an area of expertise in mental retardation. Although he was the first to explain some of the typical characteristics of people with Down syndrome, it was not until 1959 that the cause of Down syndrome, an extra chromosome 21, was discovered by Dr. Jerome Lejeune. Dr. Lejeune was studying chromosomes when he was the first to see 47 chromosomes in the cells of an individual with Down syndrome instead of the normal 46. Chromosomes hold genetic information and are found in every cell in the human body. We have two pairs of 23 chromosomes, giving us a total of 46 chromosomes. Individuals born with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome, also called trisomy 21, and having three copies of the genetic material on chromosome 21 is what causes Down syndrome. Down syndrome occurs in one out of 800 live births. It is the most recurrent cause of mild to moderate mental retardation.
Each individual with Down syndromes is unique. No two people with Down syndrome will have the exact same symptoms. However, their physical features often resemble each other. People with Down syndrome tend to have shorter limbs and a short height. They have a round face with almond shaped eyes, small flatter nose, and small ears. Their facial profile is somewhat flatter than someone without it. Most people with Down syndrome do not experience much medical problems. Most infants with Down syndrome are born hypotonic, having a very low muscle tone. This condition cannot be cured but it normally improves over time.   The majority of children born with Down syndrome will experience some kind of vision problem including nearsightedness, farsightedness, blind, or will be crossed-eyed. About 2 out of 5 children will experience mild to severe heart defects and 3 out of 5 children will have some form of hearing loss. Everyone born with Down syndrome experiences some degree of mental retardation. They...

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