Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder, where Chromosome 21 develops abnormalities, according to an article by the World Health Organization. Regardless of their age, all pregnant women need to go through prenatal screening to check for Down Syndrome symptoms. These tests entail zero risks and prove beneficial for further treatment plans.
If you are about to become a parent, you should be aware of the signs, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment of this condition.
Diagnosis of Down Syndrome
This will be a part of your routine checkup. The doctors and nurses further discuss the advantages of the tests and a genetic counselor takes the process further.
This scan is performed during the first two trimesters itself. It is quite effective and the results determine whether the child is suffering from the condition. In the second trimester screening, the doctor will analyze the levels of the following substances to make a diagnosis.
- Inhibin A: Any abnormality or high amounts of inhibin indicates that the baby might have Down Syndrome.
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin: Low or high levels can indicate not only Down Syndrome but other birth defects as well.
- Alpha Fetoprotein: The liver of the fetus aids the production of this protein. Abnormal levels of alpha fetoprotein might indicate several birth defects, including Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida.
- Estriol: The placenta is responsible for the production of this hormone. The health of the fetus depends on the level of estriol produced.
Maternal Blood Test
The test measures the presence of a plasma protein and human chorionic gonadotropin. High or low levels of these two substances indicates birth defects in the child.
Genetic screening might be advised when either or both parents have a history of genetic disorder. Also, in case you already have a baby with genetic abnormality, a test for Down Syndrome symptoms for the next child is crucial.
Treatment of Down Syndrome
There is no standard treatment of this condition. However, different therapies are available, depending on the personal limitations and physical needs.
Behavioral therapy can help ease challenges like inattentiveness, aggression and repetition of certain tasks.
Verbal communication skills and language can be strengthened in toddlers suffering from Down Syndrome. The child is able to speak fluently since the oral muscles start functioning properly with therapy.
Muscle movements, balance, posture and overall alignment of the body can be improved with this therapy. The movement of the child is also monitored daily to check progress.
Through occupational therapy, a child learns to perform certain tasks independently, such as eating, bathing, dressing and developing fine motor skills.
If you are about to give birth to a child with Down Syndrome symptoms, remember that they can lead fulfilling lives too. Consult your doctor and counselors to make sure they have a happy and a comfortable existence.