Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Down syndrome are characterized by the neotenization of the brain and body to the fetal state. Down syndrome is characterized by decelerated maturation (neoteny), incomplete morphogenesis (vestigia) and atavisms. Individuals with Down syndrome may have some or all of the following physical characteristics: microgenia (abnormally small chin), oblique eye fissures with epicanthic skin folds on the inner corner of the eyes (formerly known as a mongoloid fold), muscle hypotonia (poor muscle tone), a flat nasal bridge, a single palmar fold, a protruding tongue (due to small oral cavity, and an enlarged tongue near the tonsils) or macroglossia, "face is flat and broad", a short neck, white spots on the iris known as Brushfield spots, excessive joint laxity including atlanto-axial instability, excessive space between large toe and second toe, a single flexion furrow of the fifth finger, a higher number of ulnar loop dermatoglyphs and short fingers.
Growth parameters such as height, weight, and head circumference are smaller in children with DS than with typical individuals of the same age. Adults with DS tend to have short stature and bowed legs—the average height for men is 5 feet 1 inch (154 cm) and for women is 4 feet 9 inches (144 cm). Individuals with DS are also at increased risk for obesity as they age.
|stunted growth||100%||flattened nose||60%|
|mental retardation||99.8%||small teeth||60%|
|separation of the abdominal muscles||80%||umbilical hernia||51%|
|flexible ligaments||80%||short neck||50%|
|brachycephaly||75%||congenital heart disease||45%|
|smaller genitalia||75%||single transverse palmar crease||45%|
|eyelid crease||75%||macroglossia (larger tongue)||43%|
|shortened extremities||70%||epicanthal fold||42%|
|low-set and rounded ear||60%||Brushfield spots (iris)||35%|
Individuals with Down syndrome have a higher risk for many conditions. The medical consequences of the extra genetic material in Down syndrome are highly variable, may affect the function of any organ system or bodily process, and can contribute to a shorter life expectancy for people with Down syndrome. Following improvements to medical care, particularly with heart problems, the life expectancy among persons with Down syndrome has increased from 12 years in 1912, to 60 years. In March 2012 the Guinness Book of Records website listed Joyce Greenman, now 87, of London, who was born on March 14, 1925, as the oldest living person with Down syndrome, (recorded correct and checked as of 29/04/08). The causes of death have also changed, with chronic neurodegenerative diseases becoming more common as the population ages. Most people with Down syndrome who live into their 40s and 50s begin to suffer from an Alzheimer's disease-like dementia.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, among other health organizations, has issued a series of recommendations for screening individuals with Down syndrome for particular diseases.
Read more about this topic: Down Syndrome
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