Understanding Down Syndrome Today | Villa Medica
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Understanding Down Syndrome Today

Managing Down Syndrome In Today’s World

Most people believe that Down Syndrome is a rare disorder. The fact is, it is not a rare disorder. Today, it is no longer uncommon to find someone who has Down Syndrome. According to WHO, the estimated incidence of Down Syndrome is between 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,100 live births worldwide[1].

Each year approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with this chromosome disorder and it is believed there are more than 4 million worldwide who are affected by Down Syndrome. Although the numbers are highly influenced by the mother’s age, other factors also play a role. It is a condition with no definite cure, which is why we need to know more about the nature, risks and symptoms to better manage it.

Villa Medica - Down Syndrome Statistics Infographic

Down Syndrome Stats – Life expectancy for people with Down Syndrome has increased dramatically from 25 in 1983 to 60 years today.

Down Syndrome or Down’s Syndrome is also known as Trisomy 21. It is a chromosomal disorder triggered by the presence of a portion or the entire extra 21st chromosome. The condition is named after John Langdon Down, a British doctor who described the syndrome back in 1866[2].

A combination of major and minor structural differences characterises the condition. In most cases, Down Syndrome is linked to problems with physical growth, facial appearance and cognitive ability. Patients afflicted with Down Syndrome usually have below average cognitive ability, ranging anywhere from mild to moderate developmental disabilities. There are also a few who have severe to profound mental disability.

Down Syndrome is a life-long condition. Patients and health care providers need to understand the risks, as well as detect the early signs to provide the best therapeutic methods. Complications of Down Syndrome can also be life threatening, depending on the response of the patients and the treatment techniques used.

Treating Down Syndrome With Cell Therapy

Although there is no known cure for Down Syndrome, we can however find ways to alleviate the various symptoms in order to improve the quality of life.

Many individuals have successfully coped with the effects of the problem by simply living healthier lifestyles and finding the right therapeutic alternatives. One such alternative has been fast becoming more widely accepted with promising results – Cell Therapy.

Villa Medica - Cell Therapy Explained - Infographic

Cell Therapy is an old treatment modality which involves implantation of living cells for treatment of diseases.

Cell Therapy, specifically the administration of live cells derived from fetal tissue of animals, has been suggested and accepted by some parents as a treatment for Down Syndrome. In reality, brain tissues from animal sources have been used in Europe since the 1950s for the treatment of Down Syndrome. Since the main causative aspect for Down Syndrome is genetic in nature and the brain is the most affected organ, the targeted live cells transplantation have the unique ability to regenerate damaged cells, such as neurons to begin with.

Patients undergoing Cell Therapy have shown to achieve improvement in IQ, motor skills, social behavior, height, language, and memory. The typical features of Down Syndrome also become less pronounced and a vast improvement in the immune system with each cell therapy regimen. As in most cases involving cell therapy, the earlier the treatment is implemented, the better the outcome.

However, cell therapy on its own is not sufficient and has to be complemented with comprehensive and integrated therapeutic modalities that also incorporate nutrition, metabolic therapy, developmental therapy, social training, and physical therapy.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder, which occurs when a baby develops an abnormality with an extra copy of his or her 21st chromosome (called trisomy 21). The cause is not known, although it correlates with the mother’s age reference. The additional chromosome present influences development and this result in various mental and physical disabilities or defects. People with Down Syndrome are significantly predisposed to certain medical conditions including, Alzheimer’s disease, leukemia, heart defects, weak immunity, respiratory infections and hearing loss.

Villa Medica - Down Syndrome Facts Infographic

Down Syndrome Facts – Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder resulting from an extra copy or extra material of chromosome 21. This imbalance in chromosomal expression causes mild to moderate intellectual disability.

Some physical characteristics of Down Syndrome in infants are decreased muscle tone, a flat face, eyes slanting up, irregular shaped ears, ability to extend joints beyond the usual, large space between the first and second toe, large tongue relative to the mouth, etc.

The most common known risk of Down Syndrome may be increasing occurrence with advancing maternal age. Although the happening is random in nature, the possibility actually increases, as mothers grow older. The condition of the mother can also matter. Inadequate supply of folic acid, which is a B vitamin, may be linked to the occurrence of Down Syndrome. Mothers who have inherently low folate levels have a higher risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome compared to others. The chances increase by 320%. To prevent the problem, mothers are advised to take folic acid supplements and practice screening techniques and diagnostic tests if they get pregnant at age 35 or later.

Early diagnosis is important to develop coping and treatment measures quickly. Although the condition itself cannot be cured, several possible adverse effects and diseases can be prevented effectively.

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[1] World Health Organization
[2] John Langdon Down, 1828-1896: A Caring Pioneer
[3] Medical News Today

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