Added by Elivia DeVries on March 8, 2011
A study has shown that it could be possible to detect Down Syndrome prenatally with a simple blood tests, scientists in Europe say.
The study is the latest out of a number of recent studies that indicate that a blood test can be used to diagnose Down Syndrome by detecting foetal DNA that has been shed into the mother’s bloodstream.
Currently, if a foetus has been termed at risk for Down Syndrome through ultrasound and blood tests, a firm diagnosis can only be established by taking samples of the amniotic fluid or the placenta – an extensive procedure that brings with it a small risk of miscarriage.
The new blood test could be used earlier than the currently used method.
In the present study, the preliminary report of which is published in the online journal Nature Medicine, scientists from Cyprus, Greece and Britain correctly identified 26 normal foetuses and 14 Down Syndrome cases.
A bigger study is needed to confirm their results.
At present, there is no commercial test but at least one company is hoping to introduce one in the US in the next year.