I'm so sorry to hear about the diagnosis. I'll do my best to help you understand what Down Syndrome is.
Down Syndrome is a form of mental retardation that arises due to errors in the baby's genetic code. There are a total of 23 chromosome sets in the human genome and you have one from each parent (for a total of 46 chromosomes). Down Syndrome affects chromosome 21, and for that reason it is often referred to be doctors as trisomy 21. Trisomy means that you have an extra chromosome, so Down Syndrome is a form of mental retardation due to a third copy of chromosome 21 in the baby's genetic makeup. There are other things that can happen to that chromosome, but an extra copy is most common (about 95% of cases).
Down Syndrome is an extremely common birth defect and occurs in about one out of every 700 births - it is, in fact, the most common genetic disease known. When the mother is over 45 years old, the incidence increases dramatically to about 1 out of every 40 births.
The major defining features of DS are mental retardation (usually with an IQ around 50 or so) and very characteristic alterations in the limbs, head, and digits.
Life expectancy is generally normal or slightly lower than those without the trisomy. There ARE some things, however, that you should be aware of in terms of future medical health. First, those with DS have a much higher incidence of cancer than the rest of the population. Incidence of leukemia with DS is about 3 times higher than in the general population. Second, the vasculature of people with DS is very poor and vascular and heart diseases are extremely common. In fact, the biggest barrier for those with the disease is surviving the first year of life due to respiratory and heart problems (mortality during the first year is about 30% due to these reasons).
There is a lot of information I did not include in the post due to space/time limitations - I think I hit the big points, but there is quite a bit more information available to you. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
Originally Posted by help_me_please1
im a bit upset cos a family member has had a baby during this week who has got down syndrome
please can people give me info on it as ive not too much knowledge of it
thankin u in advance