About Trisomy 13

Source:  Wikipedia

Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13)
also known as trisomy 13 and trisomy D, is a chromosomal abnormality, a syndrome in which a patient has an additional chromosome 13 due to a nondisjunction of chromosomes during meiosis. Some are caused by translocations. The extra chromosome 13 disrupts the normal course of development, causing heart and kidney defects, amongst other features characteristic of Patau syndrome. Like all nondisjunction conditions (such as Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome), the risk of this syndrome in the offspring increases with maternal age at pregnancy, with about 31 years being the average. Patau syndrome affects somewhere between 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 21,700 live births.

Patau's syndrome is most often result of trisomy 13, meaning each cell in the body has three copies of chromosome 13 instead of the usual two. A small percentage of cases occur when only some of the body's cells have an extra copy; such cases are called mosaic Patau.

Patau syndrome can also occur when part of chromosome 13 becomes attached to another chromosome (translocated) before or at conception. Affected people have two copies of chromosome 13, plus extra material from chromosome 13 attached to another chromosome. With a translocation, the person has a partial trisomy for chromosome 13 and often the physical signs of the syndrome differ from the typical Patau syndrome.

Patau syndrome due to a translocation can be inherited. An unaffected person can carry a rearrangement of genetic material between chromosome 13 and another chromosome. This rearrangement is called a balanced translocation because there is no extra material from chromosome 13. Although they do not have signs of Patau syndrome, people who carry this type of balanced translocation are at an increased risk of having children with the condition.

Most cases of Patau syndrome are not inherited, but occur as random events during the formation of reproductive cells (eggs and sperm). An error in cell division called non-disjunction can result in reproductive cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes. For example, an egg or sperm cell may gain an extra copy of the chromosome. If one of these atypical reproductive cells contributes to the genetic makeup of a child, the child will have an extra chromosome 13 in each of the body's cells. Mosaic Patau syndrome is also not inherited. It occurs as a random error during cell division early in fetal development.

More than 80% of children with Patau syndrome die within the first year of life