Down Syndrome News

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that a child is born with. Most people have 46 chromosomes, but a child with Down syndrome has an extra copy of one of the chromosomes. This causes a variety of lifelong physical and mental problems.


Someone with Down syndrome has a number of physical traits that differ from those of the average person. These include a flat face, small ears, a large tongue, a short neck and a slant to the eyes. People with Down syndrome often have small hands and feet, as well as a pinky finger that may curve inward toward the thumb. Loose ligaments and poor muscle tone are also common.

The typical mental development of a child with Down syndrome is much slower than for the average child. The condition can range from mild to severe, however, so some children are more affected by the symptoms of Down syndrome than others.

Causes of Down Syndrome

Researchers aren’t sure why Down syndrome occurs, but the mother's age is known to be a factor. After a woman is 35, the chances of having a baby with Down syndrome increase each year -- from one in 350 at age 35 to one in 100 by age 40 and one in 30 by age 45.


Down syndrome cannot be cured, but speech therapy, occupational therapy and specifically tailored exercise programs can help children with Down syndrome with their physical and mental limitations. Many with Down syndrome live full and productive lives. With advances in modern medicine, most people with Down syndrome now live to the age of 60 and beyond.

SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Down Syndrome Society

Date Posted
Article Title
Down Syndrome May Not Be Big Financial Burden on Families

Having a child with the condition costs about $80 more a month in medical expenses, study finds

Most Families Cherish a Child With Down Syndrome, Survey Finds

Only younger siblings struggled in some cases, which researchers said wasn't surprising

Gene Abnormality May Be Key to Down Syndrome, Scientists Say

Results might eventually lead to new treatments, study authors suggest

Genetic Abnormality May Explain Health Complications of Down Syndrome

Finding might lead to ways to help prevent heart disease, diabetes in these patients, researchers say

Brain Scans Give Clues to Link Between Alzheimer's, Down Syndrome

People with Down syndrome are at much higher risk of developing dementia, researchers say

Newer Test for Down Syndrome Called 'Major Advance'

But it won't eliminate need for invasive diagnostics such as amniocentesis, doctors say

Better-Informed Women Order Fewer Prenatal Gene Tests, Study Finds

Unbiased facts are key to intelligent decision-making, researchers say

A Better Test for Down Syndrome?

New gene-based screen for chromosomal disorders is more accurate than current methods, study says

FDA Approves Genetic Test That Helps Explain Developmental Problems in Kids

Experts caution that it should only be given to young children when problems first appear

New Registry Aims to Serve People With Down Syndrome

DS-Connect offers a centralized, secure online resource to store and share health information

Study Sees Risk of Childhood Cancer Among Those With Specific Birth Defects

Researchers looked at non-chromosomal conditions

Plastics Chemical BPA May Harm Human Fertility: Study

However, experts say lab findings might not translate to real-life risk

U.S. Children's Hospitals Treating More Complex, Expensive Conditions

Researchers find biggest increase in patients with special needs, such as cerebral palsy

Prenatal Test Presents Dilemmas to Expectant Mothers

Knowledge isn't always power, some women say, study finds

Blood Test Detects Down Syndrome During Pregnancy

Second company develops noninvasive screen for condition

Alzheimer's Med Seems Ineffective in Those With Down Syndrome

Patients taking memantine had more serious adverse events than those given placebo

Maternal Blood Test Might Spot Birth Defects More Safely

Researchers take steps toward noninvasive screening for fetal abnormalities

Down Syndrome Brings Joy, Not Regrets, for Many Families

Survey finds people living with those who have the disorder have been enriched by the experience

Noninvasive Test May Identify Down Syndrome Early On

Simple blood draw might someday become routine practice in pregnancy, researchers say

Tiniest Newborns With Down Syndrome Face Other Health Risks

Combination linked to higher rates of life-threatening heart, lung, digestive disorders, study finds

Stillbirth Can Be Devastating, Unpredictable

Doctor whose wife suffered one says more needs to be done to prevent it

How Parents Come to Accept Down Syndrome Diagnosis

Grief usually turns into joy, resilience, experts say

Kids With Down Syndrome Might Get Help Learning

Tests with mice suggest potential avenue for improving mental functioning, researchers say

A Protein Links Alzheimer's, Down Syndrome

Amyloid-beta accumulates in eyes of Down-affected patients, spurring cataracts, study finds

New Down Syndrome Theory Emerges

Findings could open new avenues of treatment, researchers say

U.S. Records Increase in Kids With Down Syndrome

Expert attributes rise to more women having babies later in life

For Kids With Down Syndrome, a 'Ray of Hope'

Study in mice could lead to treatment for learning deficits, researcher suggests

Research Reveals How Down Syndrome Shields Against Cancer

The findings might someday lead to better treatments, experts say

Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects

Risk rises for babies conceived in spring, summer, when chemical concentrations peak

Circadian Rhythm Plays Role in Memory

Hamsters deprived of body's sleep-wake system 'can't remember anything,' study says

Research Unveils Earliest Cell Changes in Down Syndrome

Mouse study shows disturbance of regulating gene starts domino effect altering development

Faulty Brain Network May Cause Fragile X, Down Syndromes

Cells appear to have trouble making connections, researchers find

Down Syndrome Screening Recommended for All Expectant Moms

New guidelines say pregnant women of all ages should get less invasive screen

New Clues to Neurological Diseases Discovered

Findings could lead to new treatments, two studies suggest

Doctors Criticized For Way They Deliver Down Syndrome Diagnosis

Some mothers call physicians insensitive when breaking the news, survey finds

Down Syndrome: A Medical Riddle That's Slowly Being Solved

People with the disorder are living longer lives

Genetic Link to Down Syndrome Gets Murkier

Mouse study finds disorder isn't tied to just one chromosome

Drug May Improve Learning in Down Syndrome Children

Language skills also enhanced with use of Aricept, study finds

Study Supports Prenatal Testing for All Women

Policymakers urged to drop age-based threshold

New Method for Detecting Alzheimer's

Brain scans of Down syndrome patients may provide clues

New Screening Detects Birth Defects Early

Battery of noninvasive tests effective in first trimester, study finds

Can Folic Acid Prevent Down Syndrome?

Vitamin part of a link to women at risk for other birth defects

Paving the Way for a Blood Test for Birth Defects

Researchers find messenger RNA from placenta may spare mothers invasive testing