What We Know
Down syndrome is the result of an extra copy of genetic material on all or part of the 21st chromosome. Health and developmental challenges occur in varying degrees to individuals living with Down syndrome.
Trisomy 21—the cause of 95% of cases—occurs when there are three copies of the 21st chromosome, instead of two. This genetic condition, which occurs at conception, is more prevalent among older mothers.
Mosaic Down syndrome results when some cells in the body are normal, while others have Trisomy 21.
Robertsonian translocation occurs when part of chromosome 21 breaks off during cell division and attaches to another chromosome, usually chromosome 14. This translocation causes some Down syndrome characteristics.
Medical advances and improved resources for family support have dramatically improved outcomes for babies born with Down syndrome. Ongoing research is aimed at improving quality of life by targeting health and developmental challenges.
Talented and determined.
Loving and loyal family and friends.
Ready to unlock their full potential.
Most conditions related to Down syndrome are well understood, and treatments are available. In people with Down syndrome the treatment of Alzheimer’s and of the root cause of intellectual disability are two of the biggest remaining frontiers to achieving improved independence. There is good news — we believe that researchers are on the cusp of major scientific advances and translational treatments for both of these conditions.
Three pillars of success for individuals with Down syndrome
Early intervention, meaningful inclusion, and medical advances are fundamental to their successes. With that, many achieve some form of independent living combined with supports for home economics, job coaching, and living companions. In addition, research has the potential to be a game changer to the futures of all those with living Ds. Drugs and other interventions targeted at the root cause may help them achieve increased independence, such as self-agency, manage a home budget, perform critical thinking, drive, live on their own, and have broader career options.