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Simple blood test to detect Down's syndrome cuts miscarriage risk



Posted On: March 7, 2011

London, Mar 7 (ANI): Scientists have developed a simple blood test to check unborn children for Down's syndrome, which would save pregnant women from undergoing invasive examinations that risk losing their baby.

Researchers in Cyprus have identified the key DNA difference responsible for Down's syndrome, reports the Daily Express.

Infants with Down's syndrome, which is characterised by severe physical and mental impairments, have an extra copy of Chromosome 21.

As DNA can cross the placenta from the baby to the mother, the blood test looks for chemical differences and extra chromosomes-a telltale defect in unborn babies.

Philippos Patsalis, of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, "The method is simple and fast and easy to perform in every genetic diagnostic lab worldwide because it does not require expensive equipment, software or special infrastructure."

"Such a non-invasive approach will avoid the risk of miscarriages of normal pregnancies caused by current, more invasive pro-cedures," he added.

Their findings have been published the medical journal Nature Medicine. (ANI)

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