Promising Prenatal Test For Down Syndrome Identified
It is becoming more and more likely that a prenatal blood test will soon be all that’s needed to determine whether or not a child will be born with Down syndrome.
In a study published Sunday, researchers in Cyprus said they were able to use a blood test to correctly identify that 14 out of 40 pregnant mothers tested were carrying a child with Down syndrome. They did so by comparing the DNA in the mother’s blood to that of the fetus, according to findings published online in the journal Nature Medicine.
While promising, the researchers behind the study say a larger scale trial of 1,000 pregnancies would be needed to verify the test’s reliability.
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Currently, doctors generally rely on amniocentesis to test for Down syndrome prenatally. That test is invasive and carries a risk of miscarriage, so research efforts are currently focused on finding a safer testing method.