Down syndrome is a form of Mental retardation and is usually detected by a doctor, after birth if a newborn shows signs of the physical characteristics that go along with the illness. Doctors look for signs such as heart defects, any narrowing of the intestines at a certain point, or if the white blood count of chromosomes is off. The original name for Down syndrome, or Down's syndrome was/is "Mongolism," because people that are affected by this syndrome tend to look like Mongolians or people with facial abnormalities. .
Until 1959, the cause of Down syndrome was unknown. Researchers came to the conclusion that people affected with the disease have too many chromosomes, such as 47 instead of 46. The reason behind this chromosomal abnormality is that there may have been a failure of the two chromosomes numbered 21 in a parent cell and the daughter cells could have been separated during the first step of the egg/sperm formation. Thus, resulting in some eggs/sperm having an extra number of chromosomes and if one of these takes place during the fertilization process, results will most likely be Down syndrome, or another type of mental retardation. .
People that have Down syndrome usually have symptoms indicating that there is something wrong with them, such as looking like a Mongolian. They tend to have eyes that slope outward at the outer corners, and the inner corners are covered. The facial features are very small, and may be close together making the tongue stick out and the face to look somewhat squished. The back of the head is flat, and the pinky finger tends to curve inward, along with short and broad hands. Many children with this disease have an IQ in the vicinity of 30-80, and some children are even capable of reading and learning. Children/people that do have Down syndrome tend to be very affectionate and cheerful towards family members and some people outside of the household as well.