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Down's syndrome screening 'vital for pregnant women'

Every pregnant woman should be given accurate and up-to-date information about Down's syndrome so as to be able to completely understand the process of screening for the condition.

That is according to the Down's syndrome Association (DSA) which has welcomed the news that scientists in Holland are close to launching a cheap prenatal blood test capable of detecting the condition as well as other birth defects.

Researchers at Maastricht University Medical Centre suggested that by using molecular genetic probes to detect the DNA of a foetus in the blood of an expectant woman, it should be possible to test for a number of conditions in a non-invasive manner.

"Every new scientific breakthrough hastens the need for an in-depth debate about the screening process as a whole," stated the charity's chief executive, Carol Boys.

"Routine screening tests for Down syndrome must be supported with funding so that the right level of support and counselling is offered to women prior to the test."

The DSA's own figures state that one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK will have the condition.

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Down's syndrome screening 'vital for pregnant women'
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