FACTS AND MEANING
Can you fathom that over 60,000 American women and young adolescents suffer from a rare ailment called Turner Syndrome? So also, on an average, American woman with Turner Syndrome, grows up to four feet eight inches? Annually, nearly 800 new cases are reported and one in every 3000 live births are said to be suffering from Turner’s Syndrome?
Well, Turner Syndrome, named after Dr Henry Turner, is a chromosomal ailment, which distresses young girls and women. It must be noted that Turner Syndrome is not
• A hereditary problem
• A sign of mental retardation.
With series of research studies being undertaken, so far there are no satisfactory reasons as to what is the real cause of Turner Syndrome. It has been ruled out that turner syndrome is not directly affected with any environmental or other factors related to genetic disorders. It can occur randomly at any phase of growth, irrespective of races, nationalities and regions of the world.
This medical ailment is evident, when either one of the two X chromosomes (mostly in women) are absent or incomplete.
Generally, it has been found that male fetuses that miss the X chromosome do not survive. This is because a Y chromosome cannot function independently. Thereby, leading a single X chromosome to survive, thus increasing high chances of turner syndrome affected female child.
There are several symptoms of turner syndrome that takes place while a female goes through the phase of puberty and adulthood. Thereby, showing following signs physically as well as mentally.
This is the first and the most important physical symptom visible. This occurs because of hormones disturbances, which further delay in menstruation cycle. Moreover, there is a slow growth of the long bone. Thus, restricting a growth of an average woman to a height of four feet and eight inches.
The neck is slightly shorter than normal with a folded skin, giving it a webbed appearance.
DELAY IN MENSTRUATION CYCLE
Turner syndrome patients generally face the problem of delay in menstruation cycle. It occurs until the late teens due to non-functioning of ovaries. The following are the showing signs during the phase of puberty
• Low hairline
• Low ears
• Soft fingernails and toenails
• Difficulty with mathematics and visual-spatial tasks
• Memory problems
• Slow breast development
• A wide chest and extensively spread out nipples
• Small dark birthmarks
• Spoon shaped nails and short fourth finger or toe
• Middle ear and glue ear infection
• Eye problems like short sightedness and squint
• Inactive thyroid glands
Despite the above symptoms, over the years, turner syndrome patients are leading successful normal lifestyles due to path-breaking medical interventions. These days, support groups are doing yeomen services, by providing medical, psychological and emotional care to the affected patients and their families.