On Saturday 21st of March, we are going to hold World Down Syndrome Day, an annual event observed by the United Nations from 2012. One of the reasons behind World Down Syndrome Day is because Down Syndrome International is trying to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome really is. Now, to also celebrate World Down Syndrome Day (even if we are early by a few days) let’s see some facts about Down syndrome!
What is Down Syndrome?
Before we get to the facts about Down syndrome, we should know what it actually is. Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs in 1 every 792 live births (around 0.12% of all birth). This genetic condition will cause a great delay in the child’s development, be it their physical or their intellectual developments. People with Down syndrome will have 47 chromosomes, instead of 46. This genetic condition is not limited to any race, religion, socioeconomic, or nationality.
What Causes Down Syndrome?
Among many facts about Down syndrome, one that people might not know about is the cause. However, not even scientists know the exact reason why this occurred. All they know is that it is caused by error during the baby’s conception, and not because of what the mother did during the pregnancy. However, there is a study that found out that around 80% of children with Down syndrome came from a mother that got pregnant under 35 years old.
There are a Few Types of Down Syndrome
Did you know that there are at least 3 types of Down syndrome? Those are:
- Trisomy 21 is the more renowned Down syndrome that happened when there is an error in cell division, causing a baby to have three #21 chromosomes instead of the usual two. 95% of Down syndrome cases are caused by Trisomy 21.
- Translocation makes up for 3% to 4% of all Down syndrome cases. It happens when a part of chromosome #21 breaks off during the division and instead attaches itself to another chromosome. However, this type of Down syndrome is not caused by chance unlike Trisomy 21.
- Mosaicism is when nondisjunction of chromosome #21 takes place in the initial cell division right after fertilization. When it happens, there will be a mix of two types of cells inside the baby, in which some contain 46 chromosomes, and few others contain 47 chromosomes. This type makes up around 1 to 2% of all Down syndrome cases.
People with Down Syndrome Has Many Talents
One of the most misguided facts about Down syndrome is that people with Down syndrome are unable to function in society. This is a very misguided and false claim. People with Down syndrome might experience development delays, but they also have many talents and gifts that they could utilize if they were given the opportunity by the people around them.
Those are just some of many facts about Down syndrome that we might never know before. At the end of the day, people with Down syndrome are human, just like us. Sadly, many people around us tend to discriminate against them because they are different. Now, in the spirit of World Down Syndrome Day, let’s shed some light about this genetic condition to even more people.