Frequently Asked Questions about Down Syndrome


Do you want to know more about the Down syndrome condition that affects a significant percentage of children around the world? Here are frequently asked questions about this illness and the factual responses.

Is Down syndrome inherited?

No. This condition is generally caused by an accident during cell division or meiosis. Studies have not proven any genetic link.

Can it be caused by drinking alcohol or taking drugs?

No. Alcohol or drug consumption has no relation to the child’s having Down syndrome or DS. Since the culprit manifests during conception through cell division, nothing imbibed before or during pregnancy could have caused it.

If you have a brother or sister who has DS, is it likely that your baby will also have DS?

No, because DS is an abnormality in the chromosome which is not attributed to heredity.

According to studies, the age of the mother is a risk factor for the baby and the possibility of DS. How come statistics show that mothers of babies born with this condition is under 35 years old?

Scientists still have not been able to find the missing link or gap to answer this question. Some pose the theory that statistics show these kinds of findings because the birth rate for women under 35 is higher than those above this age.

Does DS carry with it sterility?

This depends upon the gender of the person having DS. Women may still conceive while men with DS are generally sterile.

If you have DS, is it likely that you will Alzheimer’s in the future?

According to medical studies conducted, people with DS, as they grow older, undergo cognitive deterioration which may have been responsible for people saying that he or she also suffers Alzheimer’s disease.

Generally, how long does a person with DS live?

First, let us consider the question for those people with DS who get past adolescent into adulthood. The life-expectancy of a person with DS is hinged upon his or her skills of independent living, contrary to the belief that the determinant factor is the existence of medical problems which may go with this condition. Those with good self-help skills can live up until the age of 50 while those who are dependent on others even for the simplest of tasks live until their 40s. The second way of looking at the question is to look at the survival rate of babies born with this condition. According to researches, heart defects are the major causes of death at this stage. The crucial years for children with DS are when they are a year old and when they reach the age of 10.

Will cranial therapy help children with DS?

Some support this method of massaging the infant’s skull decreases manifestations of DS. However, since DS is because of chromosome abnormality and a child’s skull has completely fused after birth, this kind of therapy may be a futile attempt to correct DS.