Can Down syndrome be prevented or cured?

A:

Prevention

Currently, there is no known way to prevent Down syndrome. We do know that there are risk factors related to the occurrence of Down syndrome:

  • advanced age of one or more parents
  • familial history of chromosomal translocation

Most incidents of Down syndrome occur with young, healthy mothers. 

There is no known correlation between religion, race, environment, nationality, or socio-economic status and Down syndrome.

There is no correlation between incest and Down syndrome. Sadly, this is a common myth, so it bears pointing out.

 

Cure

Because Down syndrome is the result of a genetic anomaly, a cure is not possible at this time. While stories occasionally pop up about alleged gene therapy providing a cure, research is typically focused on addressing specific health concerns associated with Down syndrome. Most notably, heart defects affect approximately 50% of all individual born with Down syndrome. Due to years of research, most heart defects are repaired with relative ease.

For more information regarding research initiatives related to Down syndrome, please visit the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation