Which CNS findings are characteristic of Down syndrome?

Updated: May 18, 2020
  • Author: Gratias Tom Mundakel, MBBS, DCH; Chief Editor: Maria Descartes, MD  more...
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Moderate to severe intellectual disability occurs as a constant feature, with IQs ranging from 20 to 85 (mean, approximately 50). Muscle hypotonia is seen in newborns with decreased response to normal stimuli; this improves with age. Articulatory problems are present. Sleep apnea occurs when inspiratory airflow from the upper airway to the lungs is impeded for 10 seconds or longer; it often results in hypoxemia or hypercarbia.

Seizure disorders are present in 5-10% or patients. Infantile spasms are the most common seizures observed in infancy, whereas tonic-clonic seizures are most common in older patients.

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