The 21st of March is dedicated to people with Down syndrome. World Down syndrome day was initiated in December 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly to raise public awareness and advocate for the rights, well-being, and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.
World Down Syndrome Day Global Theme 2021
The Down syndrome theme this year is “We decide”. The concept behind the theme is to include the people who have Down syndrome, in the decision-making process. The people with Down syndrome will be coming to the United Nations in Geneva and New York and they’ll voice their concerns and be a part of the decisions that’ll be made for them. On this international down syndrome day, people around the world would wear colorful socks as a down syndrome symbol to be a part of the #Lotsofsocks campaign devised by the WDSD organization to raise awareness by getting people to talking about the cause.
We at Manhattan Medical Arts, celebrate and support the people with Down syndrome around the world and will play our part in raising awareness for this cause.
What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome, also referred to as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder that is caused by abnormal cell division resulting in an extra copy of chromosome 21. Chromosomes are packages of genes in the body, which basically determine how a baby’s body forms and functions during pregnancy and after birth. Generally, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes, but some have an extra copy of chromosome 21, which is a result of Down syndrome. The extra chromosome impacts how a baby’s body and brain develop causing developmental and physical changes.
The severity of down syndrome varies from person to person. It is the most common chromosomal disorder and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 6000 babies are born with Down syndrome every year.
Down Syndrome- Misconceptions and Facts
Around the world there are several misconceptions and myths about Down syndrome. The most common ones are as follows:
- People with Down syndrome have a low life expectancy:
That was the case in the 1960s when a person with down syndrome was expected to live for about 10 years on average but due to the advancements in science and medicine, the life expectancy of people with down syndrome increased and in 2007 it was recorded that they can live for up to 47 years or more. People with Down syndrome can have a long healthy life if they receive the right medical attention.
- Older Parents are more likely to have babies with down syndrome
According to many studies, older mothers have a higher chance of having babies with Down syndrome. The cause of that the older eggs have a greater risk of improper chromosome division. Advancing ages of both father and mother can have an impact on the likelihood of having a baby with Down syndrome.
- People with Down syndrome cannot have a normal life
With the right emotional support and medical attention, they can. Many people with Down syndrome are learning to walk and talk and many are attending mainstream schools and have semi-independent lives.
- People with Down syndrome all look the same
The extra copy of chromosome 21 may cause changes in the appearance of a person with Down syndrome. But that might not be the case for every individual. A person with Down syndrome is more likely to look like his/her family than the other people who have Down syndrome.
- People with Down syndrome will develop Alzheimer’s disease.
A study has suggested that nearly 20-55% of people with Down syndrome are likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease before the age of 50. There are many more studies being done on this concern. Many studies have shown that almost 100% of people with Down syndrome will have plaques and tangles in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is committed to doing more research on the matter.
WDSD – Final Word
WDSD raises awareness about the commonality of this disorder. Different organizations in the world have come together to tackle the issue that people with Down syndrome face. Previously it was not significantly recognized but in the last decade, due to the growing statistics of people with Down syndrome, it has garnered the attention of many people and organizations around the world.
People with Down syndrome can live a normal and healthy life. One of our expert physicians, Eugene Wang M.D. specializes in various neurological disorders and his compassionate way of dealing with his patients ensures the empathy that people with such disorders need from their families and doctors.