On Jan. 11 Science Codex did a report on a down syndrome study done at University of California Irvine that revealed people with down syndrome are more likely to be affected by other illnesses such as autism spectrum disorders, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease. Down syndrome is a developmental disorder stemming from having 47 chromosomes instead of 46.
The study looked at cellular and molecular mechanisms that cause oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. They found that 25 percent of all the people studied showed signs of Alzheimer's as early as age 35. The overall energy metabolism of cells in the brain contribute to the higher likeliness of suffering other conditions. Those with down syndrome are three to five times more likely to suffer from Alzheimer's than the general population.
For people that are worried that their child may be affected by down syndrome, there is a test that can be administered during pregnancy. If the test comes up positive, it will give parents time to prepare an, often times more challenging, childhood than what they were expecting for their child. There are generally a lot of therapists, doctor's visits and other challenges associated with down syndrome and can be increasingly difficult if a down syndrome child also ends up having autism or diabetes as well.