Biotech Articles
Publish Your Articles Online
Get Recognition - International Audience

Request for an Author Account   |   Login   |   Submit Article
 
 
HOME FAQ TOP AUTHORS FORUMS PUBLISH ARTICLE
 
 

Down Syndrome - The Most Common Congenital Anomaly

BY: Zandro Cabaral | Category: Genetics | Submitted: 2011-02-05 10:26:57
       Author Photo
Article Summary: "This article is about Trisomy 21 that is the most prevalent congenital anomaly worldwide. This article renders information about the mutation behind this syndrome and the other anomalies that heralds it..."


Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article
     


Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, is the most common congenital anomaly in the world. It is also the most common cause of congenital mental retardation. Down syndrome is also the most famous and the most known of all the anomalies. What is really Down syndrome? What is the cause of this congenital anomaly? What are the maternal factors that have high risk for Down syndrome? All this questions will be answered as you read further in this article.

Down syndrome is a congenital abnormality or anomaly that is due to a defect in one of the genetic processes in cell division during the developmental stages of the fetus leading to the formation of a defective chromosome. In this case, the chromosome 21 is the defective component. In a human's developmental stage, there is what is called Meiosis. It is the process in which our cells divide and replicate. During normal meiosis, each pair of chromosomes divides or splits into 2 identical chromosomes and goes into the different spots of the dividing cell. This is called the process of Dysjunction. In Down syndrome however, one pair of chromosome, which is chromosome 21, does not divide and the whole pair goes into the same spot in the dividing cell. As a result, instead of a pair, it becomes 3 pieces of chromosome 21 in the spot thus, termed Trisomy 21 and the meiotic accident is called the Non-Disjunction.

Physical characteristics of children with Down syndrome are:

• The palms have a distinctive simian crease line
• an unusually round face
• up slanting palpebral fissures
• macroglossia or a lips and tongue larger than normal
• an epicanthic fold of the eyelids

Sadly, children with Down syndrome have MR and a very low IQ. Life expectancies of these individuals are up to 35 years. About 50 - 60% of the cases of Down syndrome also suffer from a congenital defect known as Endocardial Cushion Defect of the heart that makes them susceptible to Cardiac Failure in the later ages. Another congenital defect commonly present in Down syndrome is Doudenal Atresia. This is an abnormality in the duodenum or the small intestines characterized by the narrowing of the second part of the duodenum distal to the Ligament of Trietz and are diagnosed by an abdominal x-ray showing a "double bubble" sign. It is manifested by malabsorption, vomiting and constipation.

Down syndrome is associated with Alzheimer's disease because they have the same chromosome affected which is chromosome 21. Due to this fact, when patients with Down syndrome unusually live beyond the age of 40, they will develop Alzheimer's disease and would manifest the symptoms of the disease such as the decline in cognition accompanied with a slow-progressing dementia, and the presence of Neurofibrillary tangles and Tau protein in the brain tissue. However, with the other systemic anomalies that escort Down syndrome, it is uncommon for these individuals to live beyond 40.

The occurrence of Down syndrome is linked primarily to the maternal factors during the fetal life of the child. A number of these factors specifically points to the anomaly. Such as:
• Maternal Age during Conception. A high maternal age when conceiving the child specifically the pre-menopausal, menopausal and the post-menopausal maternal age group.
• Birth Rank of the Child. Birth rank is defined as the baby's birth order by age among his or her siblings. There's a higher risk of Down syndrome in babies with high birth rank.
• Incest. There are many cases of Down syndrome in cultures which allow incest or the mating of two directly related individuals.
• Asian, Southeast Asian bloodlines. These countries have the most cases of Down syndrome.


There are ongoing studies today about using stem cells to increase the quality of life in patients with Down syndrome but so far no result has been published. The specific prevention of Down syndrome is not known just like the other congenital anomalies such as Trisomy 18 or Edward Syndrome, trisomy 22 and Marfan's syndrome which is the defect in fibrillin. "Genetic Accidents" as they are described, happen randomly and are in the genetic level which makes these genetic defects very difficult to study and treat. The only thing sure about these congenital defects is that they are all associated to maternal exposure to mutagens and risk factors during pregnancy.

About Author / Additional Info:


Search this site & forums
Share this article with friends:



Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article

More Social Bookmarks (Digg etc..)


Comments on this article: (0 comments so far)

Comment By Comment

Leave a Comment   |   Article Views: 6698



Additional Articles:
•   Tracking of Stem Cells Entering Into the Heart

•   Biology - A Promising Career of the Future

•   Carotenoids- Introduction, Origin and Properties

•   Sterile Insect Technique For Eradicating Harmful Insects


Latest Articles in "Genetics" category:
•   The Science and History of Genetics. How It Predicts the Genetic Code

•   Telomeres: Is It Responsible For Ageing and Cancer?

•   Human Genetic Engineering,its Methods and Ethics

•   Gene Mutation And Cancer

•   DNA Technology Used in Forensics

•   DNA Fingerprinting: Uses and Methods Involved

•   Treatment of Genetic Diseases by Gene Therapy

•   Human Intelligence and Genetics

•   Ethical Issues Related to Human and Animal Cloning

•   Mitochondrial DNA and Forensic

•   DNA Footprinting and Gene Sequencing

•   Biotechnology and Types of Cloning

•   Designer Babies:Method and Ethical Issues

•   Prenatal Diagnosis: Non-invasive and Invasive Techniques

•   What are the Benefits of Genetic Engineering?

•   The Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering in Humans

•   Types of Genetic Disorders

•   Bovine Somatotropin: A Growth Hormone

•   Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Food



Important Disclaimer: All articles on this website are for general information only and is not a professional or experts advice. We do not own any responsibility for correctness or authenticity of the information presented in this article, or any loss or injury resulting from it. We do not endorse these articles, we are neither affiliated with the authors of these articles nor responsible for their content. Please see our disclaimer section for complete terms.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
Copyright © 2010 biotecharticles.com - Do not copy articles from this website.

ARTICLE CATEGORIES :
Agriculture Bioinformatics Applications Biotech Products Biotech Research
Biology Careers College/Edu DNA Environmental Biotech
Genetics Healthcare Industry News Issues Nanotechnology
Others Stem Cells Press Release Toxicology  


  |   Disclaimer/Privacy/TOS   |   Submission Guidelines   |   Contact Us