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The prevalence in children born to young mothers is 1 in 1000, while it increases to almost 1 in 40 in children born to mothers over 40. Most individuals with Down?s Syndrome have characteristic features such as upward slanted eyes, broad flattened face, short neck, and a prominent tongue. Muscle coordination is often impaired in these individuals, resulting in uncoordinated posture and balance. Congenital heart disease is found in forty percent of these individuals, along with a near twenty fold increase in the risk of kidney malformation, thyroid abnormalities, diabetes, leukemia. Neurological retardation and impaired immune systems render these individuals more susceptible to infection and disease.
Vascular dementia is found to be most prevalent in people aged 60-75 years and is more prevalent amongst the male population in comparison to female. Vascular dementia is seen to result in progressive deterioration of the higher functions of the brain for example memory, recognition, the ability to learn new information and fine motor movements (Alzheimer, Scotland, 2002). These changes commonly occur in a stepwise pattern due to the sudden occurrence of strokes. The features common to vascular dementia which characterise the disease include loss of memory and problems with forgetting recent events. The clarity of speech may alter resulting in difficulties in communicating.