What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome

What is Down Syndrome?

The term Down Syndrome is used to describe a group of disorders that are caused by the presence of an extra chromosome. Chromosome 21, which contains 2,000 genes and plays a critical role in brain development, is found in three copies instead of two in individuals with Down Syndrome. It’s important to note that not all people who have Syndrome will have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia—however it is more common than the general population.

Down’s syndrome is characterized by a distinctive facial appearance, intellectual disability, and developmental delays. It might be linked to thyroid or cardiac disease.

Early intervention programs, which include a group of specialists and special educators who can address the particular needs of each kid, are beneficial in managing Down’s syndrome.

 Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s.

Down syndrome is not caused by Alzheimer’s disease, but the two are related because both result from an extra copy of chromosome 21. This can be confusing to people who think that Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease are the same thing; however they’re not. People with Down Syndrome will often develop dementia or other forms of cognitive impairment as they get older, but these are not the same as Alzheimer’s disease.

Which condition do older adults with down syndrome tend to develop? Someone who has Down syndrome may also have Alzheimer’s disease, but the age of onset for these two conditions is different. A person with Down syndrome could be diagnosed at a younger age than someone suffering from AD because they live longer.

The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is about the same for persons with Down syndrome as it is in the general population. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, around 30% of people with Down syndrome who are age 50 develop Alzheimer’s dementia.

 Down syndrome clinical features

How common is dementia? The symptoms of Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease can be similar. A person with either condition may have trouble performing tasks such as dressing or eating; however someone with Down Syndrome might also experience delayed speech development and motor skills.

The clinical features and those of Alzheimer’s Disease share similarities. A person with either condition could have difficulty performing tasks such as dressing or eating. However, someone with Down Syndrome might experience delayed speech development and motor skills issues in addition to the other challenges associated with this condition (i.e., hypotonia), while someone suffering from AD may not. To make things even more confusing, individuals suffering from Down syndrome could also develop AD later on in life; these two conditions can exist at the same time because both involve an extra copy of chromosome 21.

Down syndrome and Alzheimer

 Age of onset for down syndrome

Unfortunately, the age of onset is much earlier than that of Alzheimer’s Disease; however it varies greatly between individuals. The average life expectancy after birth was only 25 years in 1900 (50% chance to live until 20) and now babies born today with Down Syndrome can often expect to live into their 60’s.

People with Down Syndrome can develop Alzheimer’s disease at any age, but it typically occurs much earlier than in the general population (typically around 40 years vs 65 or later). This is because individuals with an extra copy of chromosome 21 where genes related to dementia are located, so they experience accelerated aging. On average, they can expect to live into their 60s or later.

Conclusion: If you or someone in your family is dealing with the effects of it’s important to understand what this disorder entails. The challenges associated with having a third copy of chromosome 21 can vary from person to person but there are ways to mitigate these effects and improve quality of life for those living with this condition. Speak to our doctors today about how they can help!

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