Down's Syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs as a result of an extra chromosome (Chromosome 21).
The human body is made up of cells that contain genes. Genes are grouped in thread-like structures called chromosomes.
Chromosomes are blocks of DNA and contain detailed genetic instructions responsible for a wide range of factors, including:
- How the body's cells develop.
- The colour of the eyes.
- The sex of a baby.
Usually, cells contain 46 chromosomes. A child inherits 23 from the mother and 23 from the father.
In people with Down's Syndrome, all or some of the cells in their bodies contain 47 chromosomes, as there is an extra copy of Chromosome 21. The additional genetic material causes physical and developmental characteristics associated with Down's syndrome.