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Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition in the world One in every 800 births is a child with Down syndrome which is approximately 5000 births per year in the United States alone Today Down syndrome affects more than 350000 people in the United States and grows every day Down syndrome is usually caused by an error in cell division called non-disjunction Normally at the time of conception a baby inherits genetic information from its parents in the form of 46 chromosomes 23 from the mother and 23 from the father In most cases of Down syndrome a child gets an extra chromosome for a total of 47 chromosomes instead of 46 This added chromosome alters the course of progress and causes the characteristics linked with the syndrome The life span of white people with Down syndrome is 50 years while it is 25 years for black people and 11 years for people of other races The symptoms of Down syndrome can differ from child to child While some kids with Down syndrome need a lot of medical attention others lead extremely healthy and independent lives Most of the time Downs syndrome children have delayed mental and social skills Other symptoms that are more physical are flat facial features with a small nose upward slant to the eyes small skin folds on the inner corner of the eyes extra space between the big toe and the second toe enlarged tongue that tends to stick out There are three different types of Downs syndrome The most common type is called Trisomy 21 This type usually occurs to mothers that are over the age of 35 when giving birth Even though no one knows for sure why Down syndrome occurs and theres no way to avoid the chromosomal fault that causes it scientists do know that women of age 35 and older have a higher risk of having a child with the
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