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Down syndrome is not a disease. It’s an anomaly in the number of chromosomes in the human body. Each cell has 46 chromosomes, which carry genes and all the inherited features of the parents. Chromosomes go in pairs. Normally, we have 23 pairs of 2 chromosomes.
People with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome on the 21st pair.
You don’t catch Down syndrome: each year, approximately 3 to 5000 children are born with this chromosome disorder and grow up with it. There is no preventive treatment as such: the chromosome disorder hides in the reproductive cells of some parents. Future moms expecting a baby can be examined to try and detect the anomaly. People with Down syndrome often look alike: a corpulent body, a round face with slanted eyes… Their faces look a bit like Mongolians, a people from Asia. That is why Down syndrome used to be called “mongolism”. The extra chromosome often causes heart disease and the brain has difficulty developing normally… That’s why people with Down syndrome are slower when they move and in their reasoning. They need special health care: physiotherapy to develop their muscles and speech therapy to help them speak better. In their own time and in spite of their handicap, they can study, do sports or artistic activities.
Nom de l'auteur : Jacques Azam
Producteur : Milan Presse, France Télévisions
Année de copyright : 2018