April 3, 2008

Genetic Screenings: Hereditary Disorder Detection in Prospective Parent

Posted in Category : Women's Health

Genetic screenings involve testing a group of people to identify the individuals with high risk of possessing or passing on a particular genetic disorder. It is also applied for the disorder detection of the fetus before birth. The prospective parents are concerned with the health of their baby. The baby may suffer from some health problems that are caused due to genetic disorders. These disorders may originate from the abnormalities in one or more genes or chromosomes. Genetic screenings help to determine increased risk of a baby with hereditary genetic disorders.

Before performing genetic screenings, counseling is recommended to get the information about hereditary genetic disorders. It involves an assessment of family history of the couple and carrier screening. Carrier screening is done to know whether one or both have the symptoms of particular disorder.

Genetic screenings involve the tests performed on blood and other tissues. There are about 900 such tests available. The genetic tests are performed to find the possible genetic disorder in the unborn babies, to find whether the parents are carrying the disease or passing it on to their children and for screening the embryos for disorders.

Prenatal diagnostic testing includes testing the fetus to determine certain spontaneous or hereditary genetic disorder. Some of the genetic disorders which can be detected through genetic screenings are cystic fibrosis, Hemophilia A, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Huntington’s disease, Alpha and beta thalassemia, sickle cell anemia and polycystic kidney disease. It is also applied to detect the neural tube defects and chromosomal abnormalities.

The most commonly used tests for prenatal diagnostic testing are ultra-sonography, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling and percutaneous umbilical blood sampling. Most of these tests are performed with the couples having an increased risk of having baby with genetic or chromosomal abnormalities. In some countries, ultra-sonography is performed as a part of routine prenatal care.