New test is be­ing tri­alled

Western Times - - FAMILY LIFE - — Dr Sam Hay

A NEW test is be­ing tri­alled to bring even more scope and surety to one of the most gut wrench­ing is­sues parents face – will their baby be born with any chro­mo­so­mal ab­nor­mal­i­ties?

Re­searchers hope that with an ex­ten­sion of the cur­rent NIPT – the Non-In­va­sive Pre­na­tal Test – they can de­tect many more chro­mo­so­mal ab­nor­mal­i­ties early in preg­nancy.

The NIPT is avail­able to all women from nine weeks ges­ta­tion, looking for your risk of con­di­tions such as Down Syn­drome (Tri­somy 21), Ed­wards Syn­drome (Tri­somy 18), and Patau Syn­drome (Tri­somy 13).

So what’s the new test?

Re­searchers from the Mur­doch Chil­dren’s Re­search In­sti­tute in Vic­to­ria, col­lab­o­rat­ing with a Cal­i­for­nian team, con­ducted a ma­jor study where they ex­panded the NIPT to an­a­lyse a to­tal of 24 chro­mo­somes, rather than just the stan­dard three.

“Ex­pand­ing NIPT to in­clude all chro­mo­somes can pro­vide women with ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about the health of their preg­nancy,” Dr Per­tile from the Mur­doch Chil­dren’s Re­search In­sti­tute ex­plained.

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