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Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy.

English physician John Langdon Down first described Down syndrome in 1862, recognizing it as a distinct type of mental disability, and again in a more widely published report in 1866.[20][117][118] Édouard Séguindescribed it as separate from cretinism in 1844.[21][119] By the 20th century, Down syndrome had become the most recognizable form of mental disability.

In antiquity, many infants with disabilities were either killed or abandoned.[21] A number of historical pieces of art are believed to portray Down syndrome, including pottery from the pre-Columbian Tumaco-La Tolita culture in present-day Colombia and Ecuador,[120] and the 16th-century painting The Adoration of the Christ Child.[121]

In the 20th century, many individuals with Down syndrome were institutionalized, few of the associated medical problems were treated, and most died in infancy or early adult life. With the rise of the eugenics movement, 33 of the then 48 U.S. states and several countries began programs of forced sterilization of individuals with Down syndrome and comparable degrees of disability. Action T4 in Nazi Germany made public policy of a program of systematic involuntary euthanization.[122]

With the discovery of karyotype techniques in the 1950s, it became possible to identify abnormalities of chromosomal number or shape.[119] In 1959, Jérôme Lejeune reported the discovery that Down syndrome resulted from an extra chromosome.[20]However, Lejeune’s claim to the discovery has been disputed,[123] and in 2014, the Scientific Council of the French Federation of Human Genetics unanimously awarded its Grand Prize to his colleague Marthe Gautier for her role in this discovery.[124]The discovery was in the laboratory of Raymond Turpin at the Hôpital Trousseau in Paris, France.[125] Jérôme Lejeune and Marthe Gautier were both his students.[126]