Down syndrome is a condition caused by triplication of chromosome 21 occurring once in every 733 live births. It usually causes delays in physical, intellectual and language development. The female disorder is called “trisomy 21″. Down syndrome is not attributable to any behavioural activity of the parents or environmental factors. It is a genetic condition not an illness or disease. Down syndrome is one of the most common genetic birth defects.

Oxidative stress and free radical formation have been studied in Down syndrome. The gene for an enzyme involved in oxidation/antioxidation reactions called ‘superoxide dismutase’ is located on chromosome 21. Increased SOD activity may overproduce hydrogen peroxide and thus release free radicals. Researchers have observed the heightened demand that this places on antioxidant defences. The person with Down syndrome is dealing with an impaired Glutathione defence.


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