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13 Feb 2006

Down Syndrome
Dear doc,

I need to know if Down Syndrome is hereditary or not. My husbands uncle and his wife had a down syndrome baby and now his second cousin on his mother's side also gave birth to a down syndrome baby. We want to have children of our own, and would like to know how big the risks are?
Thank you for the help.
Answer 437 views
Expert
Geneticist
geneticist

01 Jan 0001

Dear Need to Know,

The common type of Down syndrome in which an extra chromosome 21 is present does not usually reoccur in families (Trisomy 21). About 1 per cent of Down syndrome children have the normal number of chromosomes, with extra genetic material (translocation). This uncommon form of the condition can reoccur in families. In the first instance, the affected children should be tested to determine their chromosomal status. Risks of recurrence in the families could then be determined by your local genetic counselling unit.

Regards, Maritha
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