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1,500-Year-Old Case of Down Syndrome Confirmed in France

Tuesday, July 08, 2014


 

TALENCE, FRANCE—According to New Scientist, Maïté Rivollat and her colleagues at the University of Bordeaux have confirmed that a young child whose skeleton was unearthed at a medieval cemetery in eastern France had Down syndrome. The child had a short and broad skull, a flattened skull base, and thin cranial bones, which are common in people with Down syndrome, a genetic condition marked by three copies of chromosome 21, instead of two copies. Rivollat and her team suggest that because the child had been buried no differently than the other 94 people who had been interred in the cemetery, he or she may not have been stigmatized for the disability while alive.