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What Causes Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome (DS), also called Trisomy 21, is a condition in which a person is born with an extra chromosome. It affects 1 in 800 to 1 in 1000 live born infants. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. With Down syndrome, the extra chromosome causes delays in the way a child develops, mentally and physically.

In recent history, advances in medicine and science have enabled researchers to investigate the characteristics of people with Down syndrome. Through a series of screenings and tests, Down syndrome can be detected before or after a baby is born.

There is no definitive scientific research that indicates that Down syndrome is caused by environmental factors or the parents' activities before or during pregnancy.

Individuals with Down syndrome are becoming increasingly integrated into society and community organizations, such as school, health care systems, work forces, and social and recreational activities.

Due to advances in medical technology, individuals with Down syndrome are living longer than ever before. More and more people are interacting with individuals with Down syndrome, increasing the need for widespread public education and acceptance.

It is very important that infant and people with Down syndrome receive the support, guidance, education and appropriate treatments needed to maximize their potential and to allow them to live fulfilling lives.

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