Treatments for Chromosomal Abnormalities
There are no cures for chromosomal abnormalities but treatments are available to correct some of the conditions that result from them. For example, about half of babies born with Down syndrome have a heart defect. About 10% are born with intestinal malformations that require surgery, and more than 50% have some visual or hearing impairment. Treatments for many of these conditions allow a better quality of life. Most communities offer special education for ]]>mentally handicapped]]> children.
One of the reasons for offering prenatal testing for chromosomal abnormalities is because the optional management of abortion can be offered to the maternal patient if an abnormality is determined to be present.
Because most chromosomal abnormalities are not treatable, genetic counseling can offer guidance to couples who are carriers of chromosomal abnormalities. Once the risk of passing on an abnormality is assessed, the couple can then decide whether to continue to try to conceive using their own eggs and sperm, try using donor eggs or donor sperm, consider adoption, or remain childless.
Down syndrome. March of Dimes website. Available at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/681_1214.asp . Accessed September 7, 2005.
Last reviewed September 2009 by ]]>J. Thomas Megerian, MD, PhD, FAAP]]>
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