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Chromosomes are long segments of DNA that we inherit from our parents. Our 46 chromosomes are arranged as 23 pairs — one set comes from each parent. Each chromosome has hundreds or even thousands of genes that contain the “building instructions” for the body. The 23rd pair is the sex chromosomes: Males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes.
An abnormal chromosome or too many or too few chromosomes can cause problems with development, with conditions including Down syndrome, sickle cell disease, and cystic fibrosis. Since genetic changes cause these conditions, they are often referred to as genetic disorders.
Learn more about diagnosing chromosomal abnormalities in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV with our experienced care team at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican. Find a Doctor to schedule a consultation with an OB-GYN.
Signs and symptoms of chromosomal abnormalities vary depending on which chromosome is affected and where and how it is affected. Prenatal testing can detect many chromosomal abnormalities while your baby is still in the womb. In other cases, you may not learn of a chromosome abnormality until later in life. Sometimes the abnormality is so subtle that it is not detected until later in childhood.
Symptoms of chromosomal abnormalities may include:
Chromosomal abnormalities can be caused by a number of factors, including:
Many chromosomal abnormalities are passed down through families. If you have a family history of an inherited disease or condition, such as the blood disorder hemophilia, a genetic counselor can help you understand your chances of having a child with that condition.
Prenatal screening and testing allows doctors to detect many chromosomal abnormalities before birth.
Treatment of chromosomal abnormalities varies. Although there is currently no way to cure a chromosomal problem, medical treatment will focus on improving and supporting your child’s health and well-being. Your doctor at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican can help you understand your baby’s condition and available treatment options.