Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that is characterized by mental retardation as well as delay in normal developmental stages that lasts throughout the life. The severity of this disorder varies from one person to another. So, it can be serious or it can be moderate. It is mainly a cell division deficiency of chromosome 21. Down syndrome variations include Trisomy 21, Translocation Down Syndrome, and Mosaic Down Syndrome. However, this is not an innate disorder.
While Down Syndrome is considered a chromosomal disorder, Cerebral Palsy is caused when the immature brain is subjected to trauma or injury or development that is not normal before birth. It is basically a disorder wherein the movement, posture, or muscle tone is affected adversely. It leads to movement that is impaired; there is rigidity of trunk, limbs, involuntary actions, abnormal posture or all of these.
Characteristic features of Cerebral Palsy
Individuals with this disorder show the following symptoms. They include- 1. Too stiff or too loose muscle tone. 2. Spasticity. 3. Absence of coordination in muscles. 4. Normal reflexes but muscles are stiff. 5. Motor skill development is reached late. 6. Tremors. 7. Only one side of the body will be active. 8. Excessive salivating. 9. Difficulty in eating and swallowing. In individuals with cerebral palsy, only one side of the body is usually affected.
Correlation between down syndrome and Cerebral Palsy
Strangely, there is a correlation between Down syndrome and Cerebral Palsy now that we already know what both these disorders are. Let us find out what.
Infants or fetuses that suffer from the Down syndrome may not develop Cerebral Palsy in the pre-natal conditions that occur mainly due to oxygen deficiency. A study conducted in the recent years has revealed the fact that in children with Down syndrome; very few of them actually developed Cerebral Palsy. However, it was also found that among them few did develop Cerebral Palsy but not before birth. The syndrome developed after birth.
Moreover, studies are still underway and clinicians are trying hard to find out what makes the children suffering from Down syndrome resistant to Cerebral Palsy and why some of the children developed the latter disorder after birth whereas it is a disorder that is triggered before birth.
Down Syndrome and its relation with Cerebral Palsy