Edwards syndrome is a genetic condition caused by a chromosomal abnormality. This serious condition, which occurs in about 1 out of 5,000 births, has dramatic effects on growth and development. Edwards syndrome affects many parts of the body and has no cure. The type with which a baby is born dictates the severity of the outcome, though, sadly, Edwards syndrome is usually fatal.
Edwards syndrome is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 18. Human cells typically have 23 pairs of chromosomes, molecules that carry the genetic material inherited from the parents. That means there are typically two copies of chromosome 1, chromosome 2, and so on. People with Edwards syndrome have a third copy of chromosome 18. The issue is also called trisomy 18.
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