Down Syndrome: An Informative EssayDown Syndrome is the name for babies born with a disorder related totheir chromosomes. It is caused when meiosis occurs and an error occurs in thecells development. The reason for this defect is often because the parent isover 40 or for some other reason their meiosis is not “Up to par.”The actual defect is an extra chromosome is developed during celldevelopment. The abnormal development results in 47 chromosomes rather than theusual 46 (23 from each parent).
This extra gene causes problems in the child’s physical and mental development.There are an estimated 5000 babies with Down Syndrome born in America everysingle year. While the chances of having a Down Syndrome baby are slim, (1 in1000) it is still an issue that to-be parents should discuss and prepare for.
People with Down Syndrome are identified by many physicalcharacteristics. Some of these are: larger or almond shaped eyes (sometimesBrushfield spots on the irises), smaller than normal features, such as smallerears or a smaller nose, short stubby fingers, a single palmar crease on theirhands, and having exceptional social intelligence.Because Down Syndrome is cause by a cell abnormality during meiosis, itcan not really be proven that Down Syndrome is hereditary. A perfectly healthymother could have a Down Syndrome baby even though there was never any sign ofthe disorder in her pedigree.
There are however, three different kinds of DownSyndrome. 95% of Down Syndrome babies have Trisomy 21. This is the presence ofextra genetic material on the 21st pair of chromosomes.
Around 4% have what iscalled Translocation. This is where the extra chromosome 21 decided to breakaway and attach itself to another chromosome. The last 1% is made up of thosewith Mosaicism. This is where some cells have Trisomy 21 while others do not.There is no cure for Down Syndrome. There is also not way to prevent it.
Once faced with the fact you have a Down Syndrome baby however, the baby willneed various kinds of checks and treatment to help it live. Down Syndrome babieshave a very high rate of congenital heart defects. In fact 30% to 50% have thesedefects. An endocardiogram is a way to check babies for any signs of defect andstart the child on treatment. Down Syndrome babies also require more effort andtime in teaching them things because they learn at a much slower rate.
In the case that I find out I am going to be the father of a DownSyndrome child, I would keep the child even though it would be very hard on meand my wife. Even though our child would not be the next Einstein or even close,a life is a life regardless of its intelligence and I would do my best to guidemy new-born child through life.