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Down's syndrome

Planet 47 - Down syndrome

Down's syndrome (DS) is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who described the syndrome in 1866. The disorder was identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy in 1959. The incidence of DS is estimated at 1 per 800 to 1,000 births, although it is statistically much more common with older mothers.

The most common manifestations of DS are the characteristic facial features, cognitive impairment, congenital heart disease, hearing deficits, short stature, thyroid disorders, and Alzheimer's disease. Other less common serious illnesses include leukaemia, immune deficiencies, and epilepsy.

Individuals with DS tend to have a lower than average cognitive ability, often ranging from mild to moderate developmental disabilities. A small number have severe to profound mental disability. The plus side of this chromosomal disorder, on the other hand, is a great emotional depth characteristic of people with DS.

Read more about DS here (Wikipedia).