Down syndrome is a condition caused by the presence of extra genetic material in the cells of a developing embryo. The disorder-named for English physician John Langdon Down-occurs in approximately 1 in every 800 to 1,000 live births, and usually results in mental retardation and distinctive physical abnormalities.
The incidence of Down syndrome increases with the age of the parents, especially if the mothers are thirty-four or older. The risk is also higher for children of parents who have already given birth to a Down syndrome child.
Down Syndrome Causes
Down syndrome is usually caused by a phenomenon geneticists call non disjunction, in which an error in cell division produces three copies of a chromosome–in this case, chromosome 21-instead of the normal two. In trisomy 21, which accounts for 95 percent of Down syndrome cases, the extra chromosome is due to an error in chromosome separation in the ovum before conception, although nondisjunction can also take place in the sperm. A small percentage of Down syndrome cases are linked to other kinds of chromosomal abnormalities, but all result in extra genetic material in some or all of the cells.
Down Syndrome Symptoms
Individuals with Down Syndrome may not experience all of the symptoms. Some of the common symptoms are: decreased muscle tone at birth, asymmetrical or odd-shaped skull, round head with flat area at the back of the head, small skull, slanting eyes, small mouth with protruding tongue (see tongue problems), broad short hands, single crease on the palm, retarded growth and development, delayed mental and social skills (mental retardation).
People with Down syndrome are especially prone to having congenital heart disease and are more susceptible than most people to developing acute leukemia, thyroid disorders, and respiratory and digestive problems. While females with Down syndrome may menstruate and be fertile, males are almost always infertile.
[ Read: Alternative approaches for Down Syndrome ]
Home Remedies To Cure Down Syndrome
- Be patient when feeding a child with Down syndrome, and be sure to provide a balanced diet. Include fresh and whole foods that are rich in vegetable proteins, as well as foods that are high in magnesium, such as fresh green vegetables, figs, meat, fish and seafood, nuts and seeds, tofu, blacks trap molasses, apples, kelp, soybeans, cornmeal, rice, apricots, and brewer’s yeast. Reduce consumption of foods high in gluten, such as wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Avoid refined foods, sugars, dairy products, and alcohol.
- Garlic helps eliminate toxins and strengthens the cardiovascular system.
- The red blood cells of people with Down’s syndrome are unusual in ways that suggest either vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency. However, folic acid levels have been found to be normal in each of these studies, and only one study has found lower levels of vitamin B12 in Down’s syndrome as compared with healthy individuals. Intervention trials using either vitamin B12 or folic acid have not been done.
- Provide plenty of exercise, including deep-breathing exercises, daily. This helps to oxygenate the brain.
- Use liquid or spray forms of supplements for a child with Down syndrome.
- Zinc plus Copper is needed for proper brain function.
Diagnosis of down syndrome
The diagnosis of Down Syndrome is based upon a combination of clinical presentation and genetic testing.