Down Syndrome Essay

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Submitted By nashc123
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What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is genetic disorder that causes lifelong mental retardation, developmental delays and other problems. Down syndrome varies in severity, so development problems range from moderate to serious. Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of severe learning disabilities in children, occurring in one in every 700 to 800 infants. Increased understanding of
Down syndrome and early interventions make a big difference in the lives of both children and adults with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is also known as Trisomy 21 syndrome. Trisomy 21 is due to an extra copy of chromosomes number 21. Instead of having the normal two copies chromosomes number 21, the person with Down syndrome has three copies of chromosomes 21. Meaning normally a fertilized egg has 23 pairs of chromosomes. In most people with Down syndrome, there is an extra copy of chromosome 21. (Rogers, 2007, pg.6) The formal story began in 1866, when a physician named John Langdon Down published an essay in England in which he described a set of children with common features who were distinct from other children with mental retardation. Down was superintendent of an asylum for children with mental retardation in Surrey, England when he made the first distinction between children who were cretins (later to be found to have hypothyroidism) and what he referred to as "Mongoloids." Down based this unfortunate name on his notion that these children looked like people from Mongolia, who were thought then to have an arrested development. This ethnic insult came under fire in the early 1960s from Asian genetic researchers, and the term was dropped from scientific use. Instead, the condition became called "Down's syndrome." In the 1970s, an American revision of scientific terms changed it simply to "Down syndrome," while it still is called "Down's" in the UK and some places…...

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