Hrvatski English

About the syndrome

The cause of the Dsy was found in 1959 by the French genetitian Jerome Lejeune. On the pair 21 of chromosomes he found an extra chromosome, instead of 2 there were 3 chromosomes, and in the whole cell instead of 46 , there were inclusively 47 chromosomes. This kind of disturbance is found in every individual with Dsy.
It is impossible to change or cure it. «Syndrome» is a denomination for a group of common signs and characteristics, the name «Down» derives from the name of the English doctor John Langdon Down who first described the syndrome in 1866, almost 100 years before the cause of the disturbance was found.


The most frequent characteristic signs of appearance of a child with Dsy are:

•  muscles hypotonia, lower muscles tension

•  large neck. The child can have a short, large neck with too much skin and fatty tissue

•  oblique position of the eye opening ( characteristic face of the mongolic race, where the
inveterate name «mongoloidism» was taken)

•  round face straightened profile, abnormal shape of auricles

•  short hands, there is a specific transversal furrow on the palm

•  small mouth and nose with a disproportional long tongue

•  short and large arms and legs, often there is a big intergap between the big and the
adjoining toe

•  shorter thorax of a strange form

•  small head

Characteristics of the children:

- warm, kind-hearted, cheerful, serene, they communicate with their community

- they return the communication back to the community

-they copycat the behaviour of their milieu loyally

•  they can be creative, if the capacity through individual work with the child is established
and developed

•  the family is needed in the childhood phase, afterwards the indipendence for an
indipendent life in their own homing communities is requested wherever it is possible

•  they need somebody else's support and help all their life

Exact number of currently registered families with Down syndrome in Croatia is 1260 families.