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PGD helps deliver genetically healthy baby at CRAFT Hospital.

KOCHI: IN a first in India, doctors used Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), a process of genetic profiling of embryos prior to implantation similar to prenatal diagnosis, to help a Thiruvananthapuram native deliver a healthy child free of genetically transferred disease.

This rare feat was achieved under the treatment of a specialised team of doctors at  the Crafts (Centre For Research in Assisted Reproduction and Fetal Therapy) Hospital and Research Centre, Kodungallur.

Gireesh and Sanjini, a couple from Thiruvananthapuram, were carriers of Tay-Sachs disease, a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive deterioration of nerve cells and of mental and physical abilities that begins around seven months of age. And there is no cure for Tay-Sachs diseases.

“The couple had earlier delivered three Tay-Sachs affected babies and lost them by the age of four respectively. When they approached us, we suggested them to go for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). We conducted Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) in Argenomics where the embryos were screened to identify abnormalities in the chromosomes,” said Dr Ritu Nair, head of Argenomics - genetic research and Diagnotics division at Crafts. Of the many embryos obtained after IVF, the doctors selected the embryo that was healthy, free of Tay-Sachs disease as that of parents.

The mother was continuously monitored through the nine months of pregnancy by constantly checking the baby’s chromosomes through Non invasive Prenatal testing (NIPT), which finally helped in delivering a healthy child devoid of the killer genes disease, doctors said.

“Through Argenomics we help in the birth of babies free of genetically transferred diseases as the PGD and PGS help to identify the best embryos and subsequently increase the chances of healthy pregnancies,” Ritu added. Among the 1.5 crore new borns in a year in India, 15 lakh are born with birth defects or genetical disorders. It is difficult for couples carrying abnormal killer genes to have a healthy child. Sometimes they have to wait for several attempts to get one healthy child, which is very rare.

Till recent past, the only technique to test genetic disorders was when a pregnancy had advanced to 12 to 16 weeks through invasive procedures. But today with innovations and hi-tech research in the field of genetics, such as PGD, couples have the option to select a healthy embryo prior to a pregnancy.

By Express News Service
Published: 27th July 2016 05:53 AM