Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Blood test for Down's syndrome 'gives better results'

Testing pregnant women's blood for disorders in unborn children promises dramatic advances in medicine, researchers have said.

Foetal picture

A US team writing in the New England Journal of Medicine say Down's syndrome can be reliably tested for in the mother's blood.
Meanwhile, Great Ormond Street Hospital has started offering similar tests.
A decision on whether the UK's Down's syndrome screening programme should change is due this year.
At the moment in the UK, a woman is assessed based on her age and an ultrasound scan, with those deemed high-risk having further tests.
These involve a needle taking a sample of the placenta or the fluid that bathes the baby. There is a risk of miscarriage with the procedure.
During amniocentesis, a needle is inserted through a woman's abdomen into the amniotic sac. A sample of fluid is extracted and screened for genetic disorders such as Down syndrome.
Blood tests look for fragments of DNA from the placenta, which drift about in the mother's bloodstream.
Down's syndrome is caused by an extra copy of a huge stretch of DNA and that extra bundle of genetic information can be detected in the blood.

If initial tests are more accurate they could reduce the number of women who go on to have the invasive test.

Tests assessed

Previous research had suggested the tests were effective in high-risk women.
Now a team at the University of California, San Francisco, suggests the blood test could replace current tests for all women.
They correctly identified 38 cases of Down's syndrome out of nearly 16,000 women tested. The basic risk screening found only 30 cases and had a higher rate of false-positives.
The UK's national screening committee will assess the new tests in June.


Professor Lyn Chitty, from Great Ormond Street, has been evaluating how they could be introduced across the NHS.
She says testing every pregnant woman's blood is unlikely. However, she says it can and should be integrated into the existing screening so that high-risk women have an extra check before deciding if an invasive procedure is needed.
She told the BBC: "These are really exciting times; this cell-free DNA is changing prenatal care dramatically.
"I think it broadens access to testing. really; a number of women will decline invasive testing because of the risk of miscarriage and they may well take up non-invasive prenatal testing."
She said progress in the area was "very rapid" and tests for other genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis were also becoming available.
Great Ormond Street already has an approved test which it has started offering in parts of London.
The Down's Syndrome Association said that if the changes did come into force then the risks and benefits need to be clearly communicated to parents.
"At the time of testing, easily understood and up-to-date information must be provided in an unbiased way by well trained professionals," the organisation said in a statement.
Sources: BBC Health 
NPRhttp://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/01/26/368449371/dna-blood-test-gives-women-a-new-option-for-prenatal-screening

14 comments :

  1. I quite like reading an article that will make men and
    women think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!


    Also visit my weblog tickets mets

    ReplyDelete
  2. My family all the time say that I am killing my time here
    at net, but I know I am getting experience all the time by reading such pleasant articles or reviews.



    Feel free to surf to my homepage :: hdmi cable eforcity

    ReplyDelete
  3. Touche. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good spirit.


    Also visit my web page; paid surveys

    ReplyDelete
  4. Outstanding quest there. What occurred after?

    Take care!

    My web page - StephaineABokal

    ReplyDelete
  5. I couldn't refrain from commenting. Well written!

    Stop by my web page DomoniqueADelpriore

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've learn a few just right stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how a lot attempt you put to create the sort of wonderful
    informative web site.

    Here is my blog post: DreamaSFenniman

    ReplyDelete
  7. I visited multiple web sites except the audio feature for audio songs existing at this website is really excellent.



    My homepage: ErnestoHKerne

    ReplyDelete
  8. Normally I don't learn post on blogs, but I wish
    to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so!

    Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.


    Here is my weblog; BenitoLLavell

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google,
    and found that it's truly informative. I'm going to watch out for brussels.
    I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Many people will
    be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    Check out my blog ... MadalineOMirando

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello, I do think your web site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    Whenever I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however
    when opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I just wanted
    to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, great site!

    Here is my page - PriscillaGCatello

    ReplyDelete
  11. Admiring the persistence you put into your website and in depth information you present.
    It's good to come across a blog every once
    in a while that isn't the same out of date rehashed information. Fantastic read!
    I've bookmarked your site and I'm adding your RSS feeds to my
    Google account.

    Also visit my web page :: BrigetteYAlfandre

    ReplyDelete
  12. I’m not that much of a internet reader
    to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep
    it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back
    later. Many thanks

    my blog post EddieTKelash

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm extremely inspired along with your writing talents
    and also with the format in your weblog. Is this a paid subject matter
    or did you customize it your self? Anyway
    keep up the excellent quality writing, it's rare to peer a great weblog like this one today..



    Stop by my web page: EvanOBrodes

    ReplyDelete
  14. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed
    account your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.


    Feel free to surf to my site quest bars

    ReplyDelete

comentários