WellSpan Home

Health Library

Translocation Down Syndrome

Translocation Down syndrome is a type of Down syndrome that is caused when one chromosome breaks off and attaches to another chromosome. In this case, there are three 21 chromosomes but one of the 21 chromosomes is attached to another chromosome. The genetic material from the extra 21 chromosome is what causes the health problems that are caused by Down syndrome. In translocation Down syndrome, the extra 21 chromosome may be attached to the 14 chromosome, or to other chromosome numbers like 13, 15, or 22. In some cases, two 21 chromosomes can be attached to each other.

A small number of babies born with Down syndrome have translocation Down syndrome. There are no big differences between the kids who have translocation Down syndrome compared with the kids with three copies of chromosome 21. This is called trisomy 21.

Whenever a translocation is found in a child, the parents’ chromosomes are looked at to find out whether the translocation was inherited or not. If one parent has the translocation chromosome, then the doctor knows the baby inherited the translocation from that parent. That parent will actually have 45 total chromosomes in each cell of the body, but the parent will be normal and healthy. This is because that parent still has only two copies of each chromosome. When a person has a rearrangement of chromosome material with no extra or missing chromosome material, the person is said to have a balanced translocation. That person can also be a balanced translocation carrier.

Parents with balanced translocations may:

  • Have trouble getting pregnant

  • Suffer miscarriages

  • Have an increased chance of having a child with health problems

The parent can donate the right amount of chromosomes to a pregnancy. However, that parent also has a risk of donating too much or too little genetic material to a pregnancy. This is not something the parent can control or predict. The chance depends on the type of chromosome rearrangement and which chromosomes are involved.

There is another important thing to remember when a parent is found to have a translocation. The parents' siblings may also have inherited the translocation and, therefore, may have the same risks for problems with a pregnancy. For this reason, people with chromosome rearrangements should share this information with their relatives so that they can have the option of having their chromosomes studied.

Translocation Down Syndrome - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Haldeman-Englert, Chad, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Last Review Date: 2015-11-25T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2016-03-03T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2016-03-03T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2016 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×