Down Syndrome Essay

675 words - 3 pages

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder, associated with the presence of an extra chromosome. Downs is characterized by mild to severe mental impairment, weak muscle tone, shorter stature, and a flattened face. Down syndrome is not a very common disease, one in every 691 children are born with Down syndrome. The disability is an illness that people are born with and is not contagious. Most people with Downs have a life expectancy of about 40 or 50 years of age. They only live for that short amount of time because they begin to develop a similar disease to Alzheimer’s. “100% of people with Down syndrome will develop some physiologic signs of Alzheimer’s when they are over 35 years old in the U.S” (Statistics about Down Syndrome). They also die earlier because having Down syndrome increases the risk of leukemia 15-20 times in the US. Therefore most people with Downs will die because of leukemia or heart problems before the age of 50.
Many people believe, from common knowledge, that having a Down syndrome cannot be prevented and that it is genetic. This was proved wrong by a new technology called prenatal screening. Prenatal screening can help figure out if a certain baby will be conceived with Down syndrome, if someone does not want a child with a disease than they can make their own choices from there. Making that choice comes with responsibility. Another choice mom’s will have to make while being pregnant is drinking. Some mom's who are pregnant may have drinking problems which can cause problems with the baby. Other than drinking and screening a family can go through genetic counseling. A family should only go to genetic counseling if it has a history of Down syndrome children. Genetic counseling is the process, by which people are advised of the consequences and nature of the disorder, the probability of developing or transmitting it. Genetic counseling also offers the options open to them in management and family planning.
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