Down syndrome symptoms

Down syndrome is a genetically inherited syndrome. Down syndrome is one of the most common chromosomal disorders found in newborns. It is associated with mental retardation and a low IQ. It is caused when a child inherits an extra set of the 21st chromosome. Infants born with Down Syndrome will be slower in mental and physical development than those who are born without this disorder. They generally have other health issues like hearing problems and intestinal problems. When children are born with this disorder they will have both physical and behavioral symptoms. They will become withdrawn and unusually quiet as they grow older and will tend to be more passive and unresponsive. There is no cure for Down Syndrome.

Down syndrome symptoms are varied and the degree of symptoms can vary depending on each child. Not every child born with Down Syndrome will have every symptom but the syndrome is quite recognizable in the physical appearance of the infant. Down syndrome symptoms include cognitive impairment which is expressed as mental retardation. The appearance is affected. Children who are born with Down Syndrome will typically be shorter than other children and have shorter limbs. Another common symptom is a large space between the first and second toes. Single Flexion furrow of the fifth finger is also normally present. Some other physical Down Syndrome symptoms include the appearance of a wider face and neck, which is a common facial appearance that is associated with this disorder. The child will usually have a high and wide forehead, lower and smaller ears and wide set eyes that have an upward slant. The eyes may also have white spots, known as Burshfield spots, in the iris. The nose will typically be flatter and the teeth and palate of a child with Down Syndrome may be unusual in appearance depending on how the palate is shaped. The mouth is usually very small and the tongue is generally slightly larger than normal and protruding.

One of the common Down syndrome symptoms is muscle weakness and weak reflexes which a parent notices right away in the infant. A child with Down Syndrome will not typically reach the commonly known developmental milestones for gross and fine motor skill until they get stronger which will be much later than normal.

Children who have this syndrome may also be born with congenital heart defects, breathing problems and childhood leukemia. Children who have Down Syndrome may also require heart surgery due to an atrioventricular septal defect in the heart. Other common Down Syndrome symptoms are epilepsy, problems with hyperthyroidism, vision and hearing problems and skin problems as well as a lack of growth hormones.

The varied and common Down Syndrome symptoms make this condition fairly easy to detect at birth. Intervention can be quickly begun to help the child develop to his or her best ability. Recognizing the symptoms early and medical intervention started can help the child live a longer, fuller and happier life. Every symptom can not be overcome but the education and proper care and greatly improve the life of the child and the family involved in taking care of them.

Children or adults with Down syndrome can also experience organ system failure at any time. There are tests that can be done to determine the presence of Down Syndrome prior to birth. The life expectancy of a child born with this syndrome is about 49 years now. In 1980 life expectancy for a child born with Down Syndrome was only 25 year of age so advances in the medical field have help to extend the life expectancy. Males born with Down Syndrome are almost all infertile and will not have children. Fertility in females is also decreased but not to the extent as males.

Last updated on Feb 19th, 2010 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Down syndrome symptoms”

  1. Grimes says:

    Whenever I hear stories about a person suffering from down syndrome it really breaks my heart. I really want to help but I don’t know how.

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