What is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs in one in every 691 live births worldwide. It affects people of all ages, races and economic levels and is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder. It occurs when there are three, rather than the usual two, copies of chromosome 21 in every cell of the body. Instead of 46 chromosomes, a person with Down syndrome has 47.

It is this additional genetic material that alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with the syndrome. Down syndrome affects more than 350,000 people in the United States alone. Recent advances in our understanding of Down syndrome have resulted in dramatic improvements in the life span and potential of those affected. 

Talking Points to use when sharing with family, friends or contacts

  • One in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome.
  • There are approximately 350,000 individuals living with Down syndrome in the US; approximately 1,500 living in the Mid-South.
  • Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when there are three, rather than the usual two copies of chromosome 21 in every cell of the body. Instead of 46 chromosomes, a person with Down syndrome has 47.
  • Down syndrome affects people of all ages, races and economic levels.
  • All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.

Contact

Down Syndrome Association of Memphis & The Mid-South
2893 S. Mendenhall Rd. Ste. 3
Memphis, TN 38115 | MAP

Phone | (901) 547-7588
admin@dsamemphis.org

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