Scientists Uncover Earliest Case of Down Syndrome

Scientists Uncover Earliest Case of Down Syndrome
Scientists Uncover Earliest Case of Down Syndrome. Credit | REUTERS

United States: Scientists have found the first case of Down syndrome in Neanderthals, suggesting these ancient human relatives cared for vulnerable members of their group.

Key Findings

“This discovery tells us a lot about how Neanderthals behaved,” explained Rolf Quam, a professor at Binghamton University.

Study Details

The study, published in Science Advances on June 26, focuses on the remains of a young Neanderthal named “Tina.”

Tina was discovered at Cova Negra, a Valencia, Spain cave that has a long history of producing significant Neanderthal finds.

CT Scan Revelation

 Through CT scans of her skull, Tina’s inner ear deformity—which is linked to Down syndrome—was discovered.

 Severe hearing loss and debilitating vertigo would have resulted from it. However, Tina lived to be at least six years old, according to the researchers.

 She would have need a lot of attention from people around her to do that, according to academics.

Academic Perspectives

For many years, it has been known that Neanderthals provided care for people with disabilities. Since all of the examples that are currently known to exist involve adults, some contend that these are not really acts of altruism but rather a mutually beneficial exchange of assistance between equals.

What was not known until now as any case of an individuals who had received help and even if they could not return the favor, which would prove the existence of true altruism among the Neanderthals. That is precisely what the discovery of ‘Tina’means said the lead researcher Mercedes Conde who is the professor at the University of Alcala.


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