A New, Noninvasive Test For Down Syndrome May Be Available Soon

A new, noninvasive test for Down Syndrome may be available soon
Currently, women who wish to undergo testing to determine whether the baby they are carrying could have Down Syndrome must either have an amniocentesis, which cannot be done until 18-20 weeks, or chronic villus sampling (CVS). CVS can be done earlier than an amniocentesis, but both present a risk of miscarriage.The risk of miscarriage is higher with CVS. According to a story on ABC News, researchers at the La Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong reviewed technology, developed in 2008, that would allow doctors to simply draw an expectant mom's blood to determine whether her baby has Down Syndrome. The study included 750 blood samples from women from three difference countries. Of those, the test determined that 86 were carrying a child with Down Syndrome, and not a single test result was a false positive. The test relies on DNA sequencing: "With new sequencing technology, scientists can analyze millions of DNA fragments from each blood sample, looking for abnormalities of chromosome 21." While the cost of the test is too high right now at over $2,000 per test, researchers expect it to come down in the near future. You can read the entire story on ABC News.

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