The extra chromosome 21 leads to the physical features and developmental challenges that can occur among people with Down syndrome. Researchers know that Down syndrome is caused by an extra chromosome, but no one knows for sure why Down syndrome occurs or how many different factors play a role.
What does the chromosome 21 do?
Chromosome 21 is one of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in humans. Chromosome 21 is both the smallest human autosome and chromosome, with 48 million base pairs (the building material of DNA) representing about 1.5 percent of the total DNA in cells.
What happens if you have Trisomy 21?
It is also called trisomy 21. It includes certain birth defects, learning problems, and facial features. A child with Down syndrome also may have heart defects and problems with vision and hearing. How severe or mild these problems are varies from child to child.
Can you survive with an extra chromosome?
A condition in which every cell in the body has an extra set of chromosomes is not compatible with life. In some cases, a change in the number of chromosomes occurs only in certain cells.
Where does the extra chromosome 21 come from?
In the majority of cases, the extra copy of chromosome 21 comes from the mother in the egg. In a small percentage (less than 5%) of cases, the extra copy of chromosome 21 comes from the father through the sperm. In the remaining cases, the error occurs after fertilization, as the embryo grows.
Can a Down syndrome child look normal?
Some of the children with Mosaic Down syndrome that we know do not actually look as if they have Down syndrome – the usual physical features are not obvious. This raises some important and difficult social issues and identity issues for both parents and children, which parents have discussed with us.
What are the signs of Down syndrome during pregnancy?
Some common physical signs of Down syndrome include:
- Flat face with an upward slant to the eyes.
- Short neck.
- Abnormally shaped or small ears.
- Protruding tongue.
- Small head.
- Deep crease in the palm of the hand with relatively short fingers.
- White spots in the iris of the eye.
Can you tell if a baby has Down syndrome in an ultrasound?
An ultrasound can detect fluid at the back of a fetus’s neck, which sometimes indicates Down syndrome. The ultrasound test is called measurement of nuchal translucency.
Can Down syndrome be prevented?
Down syndrome can’t be prevented, but parents can take steps that may reduce the risk. The older the mother, the higher the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome. Women can reduce the risk of Down syndrome by giving birth before age 35.
Is trisomy 21 more common in males or females?
Overall, the two sexes are affected roughly equally. The male-to-female ratio is slightly higher (approximately 1.15:1) in newborns with Down syndrome, but this effect is restricted to neonates with free trisomy 21.
What are the 3 types of Down syndrome?
There are three types of Down syndrome:
- Trisomy 21. This is by far the most common type, where every cell in the body has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two.
- Translocation Down syndrome. In this type, each cell has part of an extra chromosome 21, or an entirely extra one. …
- Mosaic Down syndrome.