Syndrome, Edwards: This is trisomy 18 syndrome. There are three instead of the normal two chromosomes #18. Children with this condition have multiple malformations and mental retardation due to the extra chromosome #18. The children characteristically have low birth weight, small head (microcephaly), small jaw (micrognathia), malformations of the heart and kidneys, clenched fists with abnormal finger positioning, and malformed feet. The mental retardation is profound with the IQ too low to even test. Nineteen out of 20 (95%) of these children die before their first birthday. The condition is named after the British physician and geneticist John Edwards who discovered the extra chromosome in 1960.
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Last Editorial Review: 1/24/2017