Can Animals Have Down Syndrome?

Did you know that there are very few diseases that affect the human being exclusively? In fact, although on numerous occasions we are surprised to see how our pets can contract pathologies that are also frequent in us, this is a normal and habitual fact.

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Moreover, sometimes some pathologies that in humans are associated with the aging process or the diminished capacity of the immune system, also have the same causes and associations in animals.

This leads us to the following question, can animals have Down Syndrome ? This is the question that we have clarified in this article of the Animal Expert.

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What is Down Syndrome?

To adequately clarify this issue, it is important to know what this pathology is, and what mechanisms make it appear in humans.

The genetic information of the human being is contained in the chromosomes, the chromosomes are structures formed by DNA and proteins with a very high level of organization, that contain our genetic sequence and therefore determine to a large extent the nature of our organism and in many occasions the pathologies that it presents.

The human being has 23 pairs of chromosomes and Down’s syndrome is a pathology that has genetic cause, since people affected by this pathology have an extra copy of chromosome 21 , which instead of being a pair, are three. This situation that causes Down Syndrome is known medically as trisomy of chromosome 21.

This genetic change is responsible for the physical traits that we observe in people affected by Down syndrome and that are accompanied by a certain degree of cognitive incapacityand alterations of the growth and the muscular tissue, in addition, Down Syndrome also is related to an increased risk of other diseases.

Can Animals Have Down Syndrome?

In the case of Down Syndrome, we are dealing with an exclusively human disease , since the chromosomal organization of humans is different from that of the animals.

However, it is obvious that the animals also possess a certain genetic information with a specific sequence, in fact, the gorillas have a DNA that is equal to the human DNA in a percentage of 97-98%.

Since the animals have genetic sequences ordered also in chromosomes (the pairs of chromosomes depend on each species), they can suffer trisomies of some chromosome and that these translate into cognitive and physiological difficulties, as well as in anatomical alterations that give them a characteristic state.

This happens for example in laboratory rats that present a trisomy on chromosome 16. To conclude this question we must keep the following statement: the animals can undergo genetic alterations and trisomies in some chromosome, but NOT Down Syndrome , a exclusively human disease and caused by a trisomy on chromosome 21.

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Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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