When a sperm fertilizes an egg, the union leads to a baby with 46 chromosomes. But if meiosis doesn’t happen normally, a baby may have an extra chromosome (trisomy), or have a missing chromosome (monosomy).
What causes an extra chromosome?
The addition of an extra chromosome usually occurs spontaneously during conception. The cause of this is unknown and prevention is not possible. The most important risk factor for trisomy conditions is maternal age. Women in their late 30s and 40s have a higher chance of trisomy conditions occurring.
What are 2 characteristics of Down syndrome?
A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm – although each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all.
What is the most common chromosomal abnormality?
The most common type of chromosomal abnormality is known as aneuploidy, an abnormal chromosome number due to an extra or missing chromosome. Most people with aneuploidy have trisomy (three copies of a chromosome) instead of monosomy (single copy of a chromosome).
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 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.
Does folic acid prevent Down syndrome?
April 17, 2003 — Taking folic acid supplements before and during early pregnancy may not only help prevent neural tube defects in babies, but it may also reduce the risk of Down syndrome.
What are the 4 main causes of birth defects?
What causes birth defects?
- Genetic problems. One or more genes might have a change or mutation that results in them not working properly, such as in Fragile X syndrome. …
- Chromosomal problems. …
- Infections. …
- Exposure to medications, chemicals, or other agents during pregnancy.
What are the 5 most common birth defects?
The most common birth defects are:
- heart defects.
- cleft lip/palate.
- Down syndrome.
- spina bifida.