Today it is March 21st, the World Down Syndrome Day
Various awareness events are organized worldwide upon proclamation of the March 21st as the World Down Syndrome Day by the United Nations.
Down syndrome is a chromosome anomaly. Humans normally have 46 chromosomes but the individuals with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes. It is caused by an error in cell division, which results in an extra chromosome in the 21st chromosome pair during cellular division. Therefore, it is also known as Down syndrome Trisomy 21.
Down syndrome does not make any discrimination based on country, nationality and socio-economic status. The only reason that is known to cause this syndrome is the maternal age; so the risk increases with the maternal age. In Turkey, women are informed, during prenatal period, about the screening tests and USG examinations to detect such fetal anomalies and chromosomal disorders as Down syndrome. The prevalence is one in 800 births. There are about 6 million individuals with Down syndrome all around the world.
There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21, translocation and mosaic. Down syndrome is diagnosed right after the birth or in a short time following the birth. Some common physical characteristics of the down syndrome are slanting small eyes, button nose, short fingers, crooked little finger, thick nape, single crease across the palm, a gap between the big toe and the rest of the toes.
People with Down syndrome are more vulnerable to some diseases. Therefore their check-up must be made in timely manner. Physical and intellectual development of the babies with Down syndrome is slower compared with their peers. However, they can successfully adapt to the social life following some training programs.