Triple X syndrome is a genetic disorder also known by the names 47 XXX syndrome and Trisomy X syndrome. It affects 1 in around 1,000 women. Females normally possess two X chromosomes for each cell (one from each parent). Those with Triple X syndrome have an additional X chromosome, making a total of three. Many experience mild or no symptoms, while in others, symptoms are more apparent, and can include developmental delays as well as learning disabilities. A small number of women and girls also exhibit kidney abnormalities and seizures. Treatment for this condition is based on how severe the symptoms are found to be.
Signs and symptoms of Triple X syndrome can vary widely, the most common one being a height taller than normal for the patient’s age. Most females that have Triple X syndrome undergo normal sexual development, while also retaining the ability to conceive. Some have intelligence that falls within the normal range, although there is the possibility of it being slightly lower when compared to siblings. Others commonly have intellectual disabilities, sometimes also coupled with behavioral problems.
- Developmental delays
- Widely spaced eyes
- Ovary abnormalities or premature ovarian failure
- Abnormally curved fifth fingers
- Vertical skin folds at the eye corners (epicanthal folds)
- Weak muscle tone
- Abnormally shaped breastbone
- Flat feet
- Kidney abnormalities
Sometimes, significant symptoms can be seen in a person with Triple X syndrome, including higher chances of the following. If you have a child or teenager showing one or more of these, it is wise to take them to an affordable health clinic and have them checked out by a certified doctor.
- Behavioral problems like ADHD, or symptoms relating to autism spectrum disorder
- Delayed speech and language and motor skill development
- Problems with information processing, judgment, memory, and gross motor skills
- Psychological problems like depression and anxiety
- Learning disabilities, especially when it comes to reading, or in math
Triple X syndrome, despite being genetic, is not inherited. It is the result of a random genetic error. A normal child inherits an X chromosome from the mother, and either an X or Y chromosome from the father. If the latter inheritance is an X, the child genetically becomes a female. If the father passes on a Y chromosome, then the child is a male. In females suffering from Triple X syndrome, there is another extra chromosome, which results from a cell division error. Said error may have occurred in the embryonic stage, and caused one of the following Triple X syndrome forms.
- Non-Disjunction: In the majority of cases the division of either father’s sperm cell, or that of the mother’s egg cell, proceeds incorrectly. The child ends up getting an extra X chromosome in what is called non-disjunction, and this is the case with all the cells in her body.
- Mosaic: The extra chromosome may sometimes b the result of incorrect cell division that had its roots in a random embryo development issue. Here, the child gets a mosaic type of the syndrome, where only some cells have the surplus X chromosome. Females that have this mosaic would show less obvious symptoms.
Normally, every person has 46 chromosomes in each of their cells, which are organized into 2 pairs of 23 each. That includes two sex chromosomes (one in each pair). One of these comes from the mother, and the other is inherited from the father.
While some females show mild to no symptoms despite having the Triple X syndrome, others show clear problems relating to development, psychology, and behavior, which could result in a range of issues including but not limited to the following.
- Issues in maintaining school, work, and social relationships
- Poor self-esteem
- Requirement of additional support when it comes to learning, daily living activities, work, or school
Consulting a Doctor
In a lot of cases, Triple X syndrome is only identified when parents talk to a doctor about their child’s development. It is best to have girls receive an early diagnosis, because interventions and treatments nearer to the onset are seen to be much more effective.
A doctor at a low income medical clinic could ascertain the presence of this condition by checking a blood sample for any extra X chromosome. If a child needs to be checked before birth, that can be done via chromosome analysis. The fluid surrounding the fetus is tested, or in other cases, blood taken from the mother, or tissue extracted from the placenta, etc., is checked. Triple X syndrome has no cure as of today, but treatments are often effective in mitigating specific symptoms, in order for the child or woman to have a better quality of life.