It seems that in the not too distant future parents will be able to access a blood test that may help pick up if a baby has development delay or intellectual disability. How does it do it? Researchers have discovered a new and more accurate way to analyze a baby’s genetic code and this week the US FDA has authorised it’s marketing. The technology is not new but the approach is, using a blood sample and high powered computers, it scans a gene chip of the patient’s DNA for slight chromosome imbalances. This is ground breaking stuff and has the ability to detect differences earlier than previous tests. The test is known as CytoScan Dx Assay.
But stepping back from the excitement that always comes with innovation, is this information we actually want to know in advance or to speculate about it’s accuracy. Is ignorance bliss or foolish if one could know ‘more’. Riverside Cares works closely with parents preparing for the arrival of and in the early days as they gain confidence with their new babies. It is hard to visualise how it might be if the notion of the test is looming large. Of course the counter argument is if a parent or practitioner senses a problem then following through on that hunch will be a matter of routine with a speedy result..
What would you do with the information if received as part of a prenatal screening?