Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Genetics Identify Prenatal Predictions

The ability to find genetic problems before birth is undergoing a revolution that could expand prenatal testing while reducing the number of babies born with serious defects.
But it is also increasing the ranks of expectant parents who are left in limbo, their joy turning to dread, because their offspring has a DNA variant that is not yet understood.
"I started getting really panicky that the child I was carrying was going to be severely autistic with seizures and schizophrenia," said one such parent, interviewed for a University of Pennsylvania study of reactions to abnormal results. "I would look online and I met with a geneticist and talked to an autism specialist. And frankly, nobody could really tell me" how the child would be affected.

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