Chaitanya Hospital, Chandigarh organized Press Conference on World Down Syndrome Day, the most common cause of intellectual disability in newborn children. While explaining the disease Dr. Neeraj Kumar, Head Dept of Pediatrics informed that Down Syndrome is a genetic disease arising due to defect in chromosomes which results in intellectuals impairment and multiple physical abnormalities related to heart, muscle, bones , vision and hearing and even increase the chance of child suffering from cancer in later life.
The incidence of Down syndrome is around 1 in 1000 live births and in India it is estimated that almost 25,000 to 30,000 children are born every year with this disease.
Dr. Monika Chhajed, Pediatric Neurologist at Chaitanya Hospital explained that there is no specific treatment for Down Syndrome. Management is targeted to treat associated medical conditions. A multispecialty team of neurologist, physiotherapist, counselors and eye and ENT specialist work together to help the child overcome learning issues, and become as independent and productive as possible. She added that no 2 children of Down Syndrome are alike and intellectual disability can range from mild to moderate. If provided excellent medical care, these children can live up to 50-60 years of age.
Dr. Poonam Kumar, Fetal Medicare Specialist at Chaitanya Hospital, Stressed that it should be detected during early pregnancy in prenatal period. Every woman in third month of pregnancy should visit a good center availability of specialist who can screen her for Down Syndrome in the fetus. The screening test includes a blood test and a specific ultrasound, the information is entered in software which then calculated the risk for Down Syndrome . If the risk is high, then diagnostic tests like amniocentesis or CVS is performed to confirm the condition. If the disease gets confirmed, family is given an option to get pregnancy terminated.
Since it is a very sensitive test, it should be conducted in specialized centers which undergo regular quality checking by auditing and validation. Dr. Neeraj Kumar further highlighted that Chaitanya Hospital is the first center in the region to establish the department of Fetal Medicine almost 10 years back. Our aim is that no child should be born with this preventable disorder.