Did you know that women pregnant under the age of 35 are at risk of having an infant with Down syndrome. In Thailand, there are approximately 800,000 pregnant women each year. From this number, infants with down syndrome account for 800-1,000 cases. Since 2004, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has recommended that pregnant women aged over 35 years old engage in chromosome abnormality testing for their newborn child. This is due to an advanced maternal age relating to a higher risk in Down syndrome. However, the statistics of children with down syndrome reveals that 75-80% are born from women younger than 35 years old.
“Trisomy” Genetic disease with no cure
Genetic information is passed from parent to child. Any changes in genes can cause a genetic disease, which can therefore be passed on to the child. Still to today, these genetic diseases cannot be cured. Treatment strategies are in turn, designed to improve signs and symptoms that are associated with genetic diseases, such as Down syndrome disorder. The major cause might also not be the passing of the gene but be caused by other factors such as the age of mother or a mother’s egg abnormalities. Down syndrome is also known as Trisomy 21, due to the alteration of the genetic structure of chromosome 21. The likelihood of Trisomy 21 at birth is 1:800.