What is Down Syndrome?

Also known as: Trisomy 21

Normally all cells in the body have 23 pairs of rod-like structures called chromosomes which carry the genetic material (genes) we get from our parents and which control how we look, how we grow and how we will function physically, emotionally and intellectually, etc.

Chromosomal and genetic abnormalities can change all or some of these characteristics. Down syndrome babies/children and adults all have an extra full or partial piece of chromosome 21. It is the commonest chromosomal disorder in the USA.


Reviewed by: Parul B Jayakar, MD

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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