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Down Syndrome - Term Paper Example

It is against this background that this paper seeks to understand this problem especially in regard to nursing management and available community resources. Introduction Down syndrome is a genetic disorder which results to lifelong pathophysiological problems including developmental delays and mental retardation. It is a condition in which an individual is born with an extra chromosome 21 copy (Dykens, 2007). Individuals suffering from this condition tend to have intellectual disabilities, as well as physical problem. Also, they may have other health problems such as dementia, heart disease, hearing problems, problems with eyes, skeleton, thyroid and intestines among others. It should be noted that the severity of Down syndrome varies and therefore developmental problems usually range from moderate to serious (Selikowitz, 1997). Various studies have shown that increased understanding of this condition, as well as early interventions can make a big difference in the lives of those affected by it. Although this condition cannot be cured, early treatment programs and measures can significantly help in improving the skills of those affected. These programs and measures may include occupational, educational, physical, and/or speech therapy. When those suffering from this condition are provided with treatment and support, they can live productive and happy lives (Underwood, 2004). It is important to understand the main causes of this condition and its symptoms as well. Normally, human cells contain

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23 pairs of chromosomes; one chromosome in each pair is from the father, and the other chromosome is from the mother. When one of three forms of abnormal cell division that involves chromosome 21 occurs, it results to Down syndrome (Dykens, 2007). All the three abnormalities of cell division cause extra genetic material from chromosome 21 that is responsible for the characteristic developmental problems and features of Down syndrome. Generally, the three genetic variations that result to Down syndrome are: Mosaic Down Syndrome, Trisomy 21, and Translocation Down syndrome. It is worth noting that there are no known environmental or behavioral factors that cause Down syndrome. Also, it should be noted that this condition is not inherited and that it is caused by a cell division mistake during the development of the embryo, sperm or egg (Selikowitz, 1997). People affected by Down syndrome have a distinct facial appearance; although not all of them have similar features, there are some of the more common features. Some of the common features of Down syndrome include flattened facial features; protruding tongue; unusually shaped ears; small head; upward slanting eyes; and short neck (Underwood, 2004). Also, people with Down syndrome may have: excessive flexibility; poor muscle tone; relatively short fingers; short, broad hands with a single crease in the palm. While infants with Down syndrome may be of average size, they typically remain shorter and grow slowly compared to other children of the same age. Generally, developmental milestones, such as crawling and sitting, happen at nearly twice the age of normal children (Dykens, 2007). Although this condition cannot be cured, there is a number of nursing management programs that can help those with this condition to live


Down syndrome Date Abstract Down syndrome is a medical problem characterized by different impairment degrees in communication and social interaction skills, as well as stereotyped, repetitive, and restricted behavior patterns…
Down Syndrome
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