Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blood test for Down's syndrome

Researchers hope it will provide a better alternative to invasive tests which give an accurate result, but raise the risk of the mother suffering a miscarriage.

They hope to have the test available within four years and have suggested it may eventually cost as little as £30 per patient.

The new test works by extracting the DNA of the foetus from the mother's blood and screening it for Down's syndrome and other abnormalities.

At present, pregnant women are given the odds on whether they are carrying a child with Down's syndrome, and if they want to know for certain they have to undergo one of two invasive processes; either amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. The first involves taking a sample of fluid from around the foetus and can, in some cases, cause a miscarriage even if the woman is carrying a healthy foetus. The second requires taking a fragment of the placenta.

The new test involves the same equipment needed for amniocentesis testing, but uses blood instead of amniotic fluid and is not invasive.

Source and More:

Teaching Reading to Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Teachers (Topics in Down Syndrome)
Down Syndrome: The First 18 Months

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