He makes life worth living...
Why are medical researchers today so keenly interested in Down syndrome?
Down syndrome is a developmental condition. As researchers learn more about the molecular genetics and other aspects of Down syndrome, they also obtain valuable information about human development and can advance the study of many biological processes.
In addition, individuals with Down syndrome have a higher incidence of certain medical conditions, and the study of Down syndrome may yield important breakthroughs in those areas. Research in Down syndrome provides a way for looking at many important problems:
• Heart disease: Up to 50% of individuals with Down syndrome are born with congenital heart conditions. The majority of heart conditions in children with Down syndrome can now be surgically corrected with resulting long-term health improvements. However, scientists continue to search for the cause of these heart conditions and look for means of prevention.
• Alzheimer's disease: Estimates vary, but it is reasonable to conclude that 25% or more of individuals with Down syndrome over the age of 35 will develop the clinical signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's-type dementia.
• Leukemia: Approximately one in every 100 individuals with Down syndrome will develop leukemia; or, to put it another way, 99% of people with Down syndrome will not develop leukemia. The majority of cases are categorized as acute megakaryoblastic leukemia, which tends to occur in the first three years of life, and for which there is a high cure rate. A transient form of leukemia is also seen in newborns with Down syndrome, disappearing spontaneously during the first two to three months of life.
- All information taken from NDSS.ORG