Detecting Genetic Disorders Via Blood Tests; Could Aid In Detection Of Silent Disorders

On Monday, a new study was published in the Journal of The American Medical Association by Tufts Medical Center, which claimed that silent cancers in mothers can be detected by a new kind of blood test which detects disorders in fetuses.

According to a geneticist Dr. Robert Green of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, unpredicted results could come out of all genetic and medical testing.

The doctors involved in the study, looked into eight different cases where abnormal test results were caused by the mother’s cancer DNA and not by defects in the fetus.

According to a 40 year old study’s participant, Jenny, “The doctors said that babies with chromosomal issues, found in my sample, typically don’t survive. I was freaking out. I didn’t know what was going on.” It was later on discovered that the baby was healthy but two months later, the cause of the abnormal results was found, when Jenny was detected with breathing problems and shoulder pain. According to her, if a woman gets a false positive, further investigation must take place as it could be risky for the mother.

Dr. Diana Bianchi, a lead researcher and an Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center, said that the results were very surprising.  She further believed that the test results are to be confirmed with supplementary tests like amniocenteses. She also emphasized on the significance of making women aware of this possibility.


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