07 Mar '11, 12am

A simple blood test could help diagnose children with Down's syndrome: European study

NEW YORK - SCIENTISTS in Europe report they were able to diagnose Down syndrome prenatally by giving a simple blood test to pregnant women, an approach that might one day help them avoid the more extensive procedure used now to detect the condition. The preliminary report published online on Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine is the latest of several recent studies that suggest scientists can spot Down syndrome through foetal DNA that has been shed into the mother's bloodstream. Down syndrome, which results in cognitive delays, is caused by having an extra copy of a particular chromosome. Currently, pregnant women get blood tests and ultrasound to find out if the foetus is at risk for Down syndrome. For a firm diagnosis, doctors take a sample of amniotic fluid or the placenta. Those sampling procedures involve a small risk of miscarriage. A reliable diagnostic blood tes...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/TechandScience/S...

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