HATTIE YOUNG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HATTIE YOUNG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Down's syndrome. A seven year old boy with Down's syndrome & impaired hearing uses sign language with his mother. Down's syndrome results from a chromosomal abnormality; each body cell contains an extra chromosome (number 21) so that there are 47 chromosomes rather than the usual 46. This results in a variable mental handicap; IQ usually lies between 30 & 80 (almost all affected children have learning potential), & distinctive appearance with upward-sloping eyes. Heart defects, congenital deafness and leukaemia are more common in people with Down's syndrome. About one in 650 babies shows this abnormality & this rate increases with increased maternal age.
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