Because Down syndrome is a problem with the chromosomes, there are no cures. Therefore, treatment focuses on controlling symptoms and medical conditions that result because of the disorder.
Treatment can include:
- Regular checkups and screening
- Counseling and support.
(Click Down Syndrome Babies, Children With Down Syndrome, Adolescents With Down Syndrome, or Adults With Down Syndrome for more information about each stage of Down syndrome development.)
Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased substantially. In 1929, the average life span of a person with this condition was nine years. Today, it is common for a person with Down syndrome to live to age 50 and beyond.
(Click Down Syndrome Prognosis for more information about this topic.)
Other names used by people for Down syndrome include:
- Down's syndrome
- Trisomy 21
The condition is named after John Langdon Down, the first physician to identify the condition in 1862.
In 1959, a group of geneticists lead by Jérôme Lejeune found that Down syndrome is a chromosomal irregularity. Lejeune and his colleagues found that people with Down syndrome had an additional 47th chromosome. The chromosomal irregularity was identified as trisomy 21.
Down syndrome is the accepted term in the United States, Canada, and other countries. The United Kingdom and other countries use Down's syndrome.