What are the treatments for Down syndrome?

Treatment for Down syndrome varies by individual. These treatments typically start in early childhood and aim to help people live productive and fulfilling lives.

Your physician will help you develop an appropriate care team for a patient with Down syndrome. The care team may include:

  • Primary care physician to monitor growth, development, medical concerns and provide vaccinations
  • Medical subspecialists depending on the needs of the patient (for example, cardiologist, endocrinologist, geneticist, hearing and eye specialists)
  • Speech therapy to improve the ability to communicate
  • Physical therapy to help strengthen muscles and improve motor skills
  • Occupational therapy to help refine motor skills and make daily tasks easier
  • Behavioral therapy to help manage the emotional challenges that may accompany Down syndrome

What are common conditions associated with of Down syndrome?

People with Down syndrome often have associated medical conditions that are either present at birth or develop over time. Doctors can help manage these conditions with medications or other care. Common conditions of Down syndrome can include:

  • Intellectual disability (lower IQ)
  • Heart problems, frequently present at birth
  • Thyroid abnormalities
  • Hearing and vision problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems, like constipation, gastroesophageal reflux (when fluid from the stomach re-enters the esophagus) and celiac disease (intolerance for wheat protein)
  • Autism, with challenges with social skills, communication and repetitive behaviors
  • Alzheimer’s disease, which causes memory and thinking problems in older age

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