trisomy Archives - Medshield Movement

Understanding Trisomy 21 AKA Down Syndrome

World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March is a United Nations global awareness day created to help educate and shed light on Trisomy 21. This month, we share info on what Trisomy 21 is, what causes it and to provide helpful resources.

What is Trisomy 21?

Human cells normally contain 23 pairs of chromosomes – each pair containing a chromosome from the father and the mother. In the case of Trisomy 21, there is an abnormality in the cell division resulting in either a partial or full extra chromosome 21 and this genetic abnormality is responsible for the characteristic features and developmental problems of Down Syndrome.
Trisomy 21 is responsible for 95% of Down Syndrome cases.
Occasionally Down Syndrome can be a hereditary occurrence – this is called Translocation Down Syndrome, and occurs about 3% to 4% of the time.
More rarely, Down Syndrome can be caused by Mosaic Down Syndrome, which occurs when some of the cells have three copies of chromosome 21, but not all.

What causes Trisomy 21?

It’s important to know that the cause of a partial or full additional chromosome is still unknown. The only risk factor that has been linked to an increased chance of this occurring is age. However, according to data from 2022, 51% of children born with Down Syndrome have been born to women under the age of 35. There is no definitive scientific research that indicates Down Syndrome is caused by environmental factors or parents’ activities before or during pregnancy.

Prenatal testing allows for you and your family to make informed decisions, including whether to end the pregnancy. Testing for Down Syndrome usually occurs between 10 and 14 weeks.

Down Syndrome Facts

  • Approximately 1 in every 800 babies will be born with Down Syndrome.
  • Down Syndrome causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and medical issues or complications.
  • There’s no cure for Down syndrome, but there’s a wide variety of support and educational programmes that can help both people with the condition and their families.

If you have any queries, speak to your medical doctor. For more information on World Down Syndrome Day, visit:

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

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