World Down Syndrome Day 2017: 7 Facts You Didn’t Know About The Disease!


World Down Syndrome Day 2017: 7 Facts You Didn't Know About The Disease!

World Down Syndrome Day is observed every year on the 21st of March. It is a global awareness day that was officially first observed by the United Nations in the year 2012. On this day people with Down Syndrome and those who live or work with them participate in events, activities or campaigns to raise awareness about the disease. Down Syndrome refers to a set of physical and mental traits which are caused by the occurrence of a genetic disorder before birth. Children with Down Syndrome tend to have certain physical features like a flat face, small ears and mouth, slanting eyes, low muscle tone or short arms due to the delay in growth. Down Syndrome is caused due to an abnormality in the child’s chromosome. People with this disease have 47 chromosome unlike normal people who have 46. The presence of an extra chromosome changes the way your brain or the body can develop. Here are five facts you probably didn’t know about this disease.

down syndrome

1. The Reason Behind its Name: Down Syndrome is named after English physician John Langdon Down, who was the first to point it out as a mental disorder. He had initially referred to the disorder as “Mongoloid”, drawing resemblance to the features of people from the Mongoloid region. However, in 1965 WHO dropped the term after requests from Mongolia People’s republic, as well as from scientists when it was established that it was a genetic disorder.

2. Exact Cause: The exact cause of the extra chromosome that triggers Down syndrome is still unknown. And there is still no cure for it.

3. Most Common Chromosomal Condition: One in every 691 babies in the U.S. is born with Down Syndrome, making it the most common chromosomal condition.

4. Life Expectancy: Earlier the life expectancy of a patient suffering Down Syndrome was 25 but now it is 60.

5. Developmental and Cognitive Impairment: Down Syndrome leads to short, delayed development, learning disability and speech delay in child.It also leads to intellectual disability and poor understanding among the patients.

6. Tongue Disorder: Patients have abnormally large tongue or displacement of tongue, which can be a result of Down Syndrome.

7. Impaired Eyes and Ears: Down Syndrome leads to lazy eyes or formation of spots around the eyes cavity of patients. 80 per cent of people suffering from down syndrome faces hearing problems as well.


Written by Loknath Das