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Down Syndrome by Todd T. Eckdahl

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CHAPTER 1

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Down syndrome is called a syndrome because it affects a wide variety of organ systems. This chapter describes the effects of Down syndrome on physical appearance; catalogs its symptoms, including heart defects, congenital conditions affecting the musculoskeletal, digestive, and immune systems, intellectual disability, and dementia from Alzheimer’s disease; and describes additional health complications caused by Down syndrome. The chapter also explains methods by which Down syndrome can be diagnosed prenatally or after birth.

Down Syndrome Results in Characteristic Physical Features

All of us have physical features that are strongly influenced by our DNA. We have tendencies to resemble our siblings and parents, ...

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