A lot of men and women who hear the words “Down syndrome” do not really know exactly what to expect from a individual with the condition.
Down syndrome occurs in someone when they have a partial or full additional copy of chromosome 21. As stated by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), “A few of the common physical attributes of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, little height, an upward slant to the eyes, along with a single deep crease throughout the center of the palm — although every individual with Down syndrome is a special individual and may have these characteristics into different degrees, or maybe not at all.”
They note that one in every 700 babies has Down syndrome, which makes it the most common chromosomal condition.
While in the past people used to look down on individuals with Down syndrome, thanks to medical advancements and increased understanding, individuals with this condition are living longer and happier lives.
When embarking on the effect Down syndrome has on society, the NDSS says this: “People with Down syndrome have become increasingly integrated into society and community associations, such as faculty, health care systems, work forces, and social and recreational pursuits. People with Down syndrome have varying degrees of delays. Many individuals with Down syndrome have cognitive delays that are mild to moderate.”
All of this means that Americans are getting more and more likely to socialize with Down syndrome with someone. Greater than 80 percent of adults with Down syndrome reach the age of 60, with many living. That’s why it’s very important that we become educated on this topic.
Individuals with Down syndrome are even on the front lines of Alzheimer’s study.
Individuals living with Down syndrome are the “biggest population of people predisposed to getting Alzheimer’s disease,” and several are participating in studies to help find a cure. NPR reports, “As their own bodies create extra amyloid, most individuals with Down syndrome create issues with thinking and memory from the time they hit 60.”
Early Alzheimer’s treatment is being tested by scientists with patients with something which was not possible because it was not possible to tell who would develop Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome. Because people with Down syndrome will inevitably create these symptoms, treating them early could help crack the code to remedies which will help everyone.
One such leader, Frank Stephens, recently testified in front of Congress, saying, “I cannot tell you how much it means to me that my extra chromosome might cause the answer to Alzheimer’s. It is very likely that this burglar will one day slip my memories. It has begun to steal my Mother, although this is quite difficult for me to say. Please think about all those people you love the way. We are helping to defeat Cancer and Alzheimer’s. We create the world a happier place. Let’s make our aim to be Alzheimer’s free, not Down Syndrome free.”
Facebook / Love What Things