At the beginning of the 19th century, the English doctor John Langdon Down first described the visual symptoms of “Down ’s disease” or “Trisomy 21”.

A little over a century later, the French geneticist Jérôme Lejeune found the scientific explanation for this. He found that people with Down syndrome always have the same genetic defect in their DNA.

Down syndrome people don’t have the usual 46 chromosomes, but 47 chromosomes in their genes. Years later, scientists were able to prove that the 21st chromosome exists in triplicate in those affected, and this is known as trisomy 21.

Risk factors

Nowadays, if a trisomy 21 is suspected during an amniotic fluid examination, in most cases an abortion is initiated after the mother’s consent.

A woman over the age of 40 is 10 times more likely to have a child with Down syndrome than a woman in her mid-20s.


Externally, people with Down syndrome notice a flattened head shape with a rounded shape. The eyes are wide apart, with the eyelids running outwards.


Many children with Down syndrome have health problems, congenital heart defects, and are more prone to general infections.

At the beginning of the 20th century, life expectancy was until shortly before reaching puberty. The advancement of medicine has also led to an improvement in care for those affected, with a significant increase in lifespan.

Children with Down syndrome need a particularly stable family environment in order to develop their personal strengths.

Affected parents should seek additional professional support.

Nowadays, these children go to normal childcare facilities, schools and regular workplaces. Intensive emotional childcare for these children often leads to special emotional-social and / or artistic-creative competence in adulthood.

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