Study: Mom’s blood can reveal Down’s syndrome in unborn baby

March 7th, 2011 - 8:14 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

London, Mar 7 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Doctors in Europe have announced that pregnant women can be tested for Down syndrome even before the baby is born. The study was published online in the journal Nature Medicine on Sunday.

Down syndrome is caused by having more than normal copies of an identified chromosome. The researchers from England, Greece and Cyprus looked out for the chromosome in the blood of the mother. It was possible that way because fetal DNA can be shed into the blood of the mother. The only danger is that the scientists admitted that the procedure they used slightly increases the risk of miscarriage.

Though the theory have been there for a long time, there is no commercial test kit that could be used to test a mother’s blood to identify Down syndrome in fetus. AP reports that at least one US company might come out with such kit before the end of the year.

The study involved 40 pregnant women. The scientists tested the blood of the mothers. They successfully predicted that 14 of the children would have Down syndrome while the others would be born normal.

The researchers admitted that more studies are needed before their approach could be confirmed as useful.

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