By: Krystle Crossman
There is a new test out called “Harmony” that is a non-invasive prenatal test that looks for Down Syndrome. It has been on the market for around two years now and is becoming increasingly popular. The test is simply a blood draw that can look for chromosomal abnormalities such as those found in Down Syndrome and it is more accurate than previous testing and also can be done earlier in the pregnancy.
There are other non-invasive pregnancy screenings that are beginning to emerge and doctors are hopeful that along with these screenings will come more information for new mothers-to-be. This may also complicate things for everyone down the line however as more information is released and could become quite confusing or scary for the parents. Some of the abnormalities that are being tested for with these new non-invasive procedures are:
– Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)
– Trisomy 13 & 18 (which is often fatal)
– Turner Syndrome
– Klinefelter Syndrome
In the near future they are hoping to also be able to test for Tay-Sachs Disease, sickle cell anemia, and DiGeorge Syndrome.
The tests can be done as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy and has a 99% accuracy rate for the screening of Down Syndrome. Some labs however feel that these tests are coming to the marketplace too quickly and that some counseling should be given along with the tests should they show abnormalities as the results can be life-altering and extremely hard for some families. Doctors are able to give the family all the medical information that they will need but counseling is where they would be lacking.
Doctors still urge mothers to get an amnio for certain diseases as they are adamant that these non-invasive tests are only screenings and not a firm diagnosis.