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Triple X Syndrome - A Chromosomal Abnormality

written by: Ricky•edited by: Paul Arnold•updated: 1/26/2009

Triple X syndrome, also called trisomy X is a rare chromosomal abnormality that is characterised by an extra X chromosome in each cell.

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    Chromosomal Abnormaility

    Triple X syndrome is a genetic condition which is only associated with females. Most human cells contains 46 chromosomes. Out of these 46, two determine the gender of the individual. Females have two X chromosomes - and are X X - and males have one X and one Y chromosome, and so are X Y.

    Now cell division does not always follow a perfect route and there are chances that mistakes can happen during the production of reproductive cells i.e. eggs and sperms. If the error is an allocation of an extra copy of the X chromosome then females are born with three X chromosomes in their cells. This can be noted as 47 XXX. Therefore, this chromosomal abnormality is not an inherited defect, it occurs spontaneously.

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    Probability of Occurrence

    Studies have shown that the probability of occurrence of this type of syndrome is 0.1%. This means that nearly one out of every 1000 female children born have the tendency to be affected by this syndrome.

    One thing to be noted here is that most of the time this syndrome may not be detectable by physical examination, except that in a large percentage of females affected by it, their stature seems to be somewhat taller than normal. They might also have difficulties in their learning abilities. The symptoms are mild and many Triple X females exhibit no symptoms whatsoever.

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    Causes & Cure

    There is no cure as the chromosomal abnormality cannot be reversed or repaired. It is an entirely random process at cell division, so cannot be detected before or during pregnancy. And so treatment for Triple X females extends to managing any symptoms they might exhibit. Many sufferers exhibit stress so care is taken to provide a soothing environment and any learning difficulties are managed by employing new strategies for learning as well as motivational techniques.