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Ocular assessment of the aging Down's syndrome patient

15 May 1987


Down's syndrome, a chromosomal disorder, results from the fetus receiving a triple amount of a band on the long arm of chromosome 21. The incidence of Down's syndrome births has decreased, but the prevalence of older Down's syndrome individuals has increased. Aging appears to occur earlier and progress faster in Down's syndrome than in the general population. Unique early aging changes have been found to occur in the immune, endocrine and neural systems. Neuropathological changes that resemble Alzheimer's disease occur in almost all Down's syndrome individuals by age 40. Common ocular problems in Down's syndrome are moderate refractive error, esotropia and blepharitis. High myopia, keratoconus and nystagmus are more frequent than in the general population.


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