Genetic disorders

As scientific research increases our knowledge of the human genome and the brain, the number of people identified with a specific condition that may lead to learning difficulties/disabilities will continue to grow.

Here are two of the most common genetic disorders that include learning disabilities.

Down's syndrome

A genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in the body's cells. Down's syndrome is not a disease, and it is not a hereditary condition. It occurs by chance at conception.

Fragile X

One of the most common inherited causes of intellectual impairment, and the most common known genetic cause of autism.

Features usually include:

  • Mental impairment, ranging from learning disabilities to mental retardation
  • Attention deficit and hyperactivity
  • Anxiety and unstable mood
  • Autistic behaviours
  • Long face, large ears, flat feet
  • Hyperextensible joints, especially fingers
  • Seizures (epilepsy) affect about 25% of people with Fragile X

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