Medieval Skeleton May Be Oldest Down Syndrome Case
Child buried 1.5K years ago had the common characteristics
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2014 11:30 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Archaeologists in France have unearthed what they say is the earliest known case of Down Syndrome, reports New Scientist. A child buried about 1,500 years ago in what is now Chalon-sur-Saone has the short, broad skull and other features characteristic of the syndrome. "This case represents the earliest and youngest example of the condition in the archaeological record," write the researchers in the International Journal of Paleopathology.

An expert at Indiana University not involved with the dig says the paper "makes a convincing case of a diagnosis." One of the lead researchers from the University of Bordeaux notes that the child was buried in the same manner as others at the site, leading the team to speculate that Down Syndrome wasn't seen as a stigma in medieval times. (A recent ad campaign features people with Down Syndrome speaking to future moms.)

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
iq145
Aug 7, 2014 6:55 PM CDT
Earliest case? What about this?: http://www.newser.com/story/191996/hobbit-found-decade-ago-not-new-species.html
Ezekiel 25:17
Jul 6, 2014 7:37 PM CDT
Corky from that program in the 80's said he didn't like the name. He said he was renaming it to Up Syndrome.
People_Suck
Jul 6, 2014 3:33 AM CDT
Maybe he was disturbed and being down with the sickness.