The advance of Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis is well-documented and researched. At our center, we offer in-house PGD services, which allows patients to check their embryos for genetic disorders. PGD can also be used to specifically pinpoint a certain hereditary genetic disorder and eliminate it from the next generation. One of our patients has asked me to share her success story, for the use of PGD has given her a healthy baby she did not think she could have.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited genetic neurological disorder. As the disorder progresses, it can cause uncoordinated body movements, decline in mental abilities, and reduce life expectancy. The onset of the disease usually occurs in a person’s late forties to early fifties, and it is most prevalent in people of Western European descent. Treatments can usually manage the symptoms but not cure the disorder. Current research directions include Gene Silencing, Stem Cell Implants, and other pharmaceutical treatments.
Our patient’s father found out that he had Huntington’s disease in his 50’s. Our patients want to make sure their baby did not have the disease, but since onset is not until adulthood, and that they did not believe in terminating a pregnancy, they sought our help. Through In Vitro Fertilization, we tested the embryos for Huntington’s Disease using PGD, selected only embryos unaffected with HD mutation, and transferred them back for implantation. The couple now has a healthy 2 year old toddler!
PGD can be used to eliminate Huntington’s Disease from a family. It can also be used for many other inheritable genetic disorders. To find out if PGD is right for you, please consult with our physician.