Down’s syndrome

Down syndrome, trisomy 21, mosaic Down syndrome, translocation Down syndrome

What is Down’s syndrome?

Down’s syndrome is a condition in which a person is born with an extra chromosome.

What causes Down’s syndrome?

Down’s syndrome happens when a person is born with an extra chromosome as a result of a change in the sperm or egg before birth. It is unclear why this occurs.

For the majority of people with Down’s syndrome it does not run in the family. Anyone can have a baby with Down’s syndrome, but the chances do increase with age.

What are the symptoms of Down’s syndrome?

The symptoms of Down’s syndrome differ for everyone but there is always some degree of learning disability. People with a learning disability may need additional support with:

  • Understanding complicated information
  • Acquiring some skills
  • Looking after themselves or living alone

Down’s syndrome may also result in other medical conditions such as:

  • Heart defects
  • Epilepsy
  • Digestive difficulties
  • Poor vision
  • Hearing loss
  • Problems with muscles and joints

Are you affected by Down’s syndrome?

If you’re affected by Down’s syndrome, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with Down’s syndrome, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with Down’s syndrome from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone affected by Down’s syndrome

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with Down’s syndrome? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including Down’s syndrome, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity’s library has a range of resources on Down's syndrome and on many other disability-related issues.

Support groups

Cheshire Down Syndrome Support Group

Phone: 01606246171

The South Manchester Down’s Syndrome Support Group

Phone: 07593542107

The DSA Complex Needs And Autism Facebook Group

A Facebook group for parents, family members and carers of children or adults with complex needs or with a dual diagnosis of Down’s syndrome and autism spectrum condition.

Phone: 03331212300

Support groups at The Brain Charity

Are you interested in setting up a Down’s syndrome support group, or do you already run one? Email to let us know.

Alternatively, you can check out our list of related support groups here.

Other charities

Down’s Syndrome Association

Phone: 0333 1212300 (10am-4pm)

Down’s Syndrome Research Foundation UK

Phone: 01892711121

Down’s Syndrome Scotland

Phone: 03000302121

Down’s Heart Group

Phone: 03001021644