School of Medicine

Department of Genetics

Down Syndrome

Danielle Mercer1, Fern Tsien2, and Barbara Gordon-Wendt1

1 Department of Communication Disorders, LSUHSC School of Allied Health Professions
2 Department of Genetics, LSUHSC School of Medicine


Down syndrome is one of the most common genetic syndromes and a major cause of mental disability.  Down syndrome is also called trisomy 21 because affected patients have 3 copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual 2 copies.  It is most frequently caused by chromosomal nondisjunction, which is an error in cell division.  A more detailed overview of Down syndrome can be found here:


Among the many physical features of Down syndrome is hearing loss, which can be conductive, sensorineural, or mixed.  Ear infections and fluid in the middle ear are common in Down syndrome patients.

For information on support groups for Down syndrome, visit the following links:

2012 3:28:59 PM

Child with Down Syndrome