Tuesday 12 November 2019

Disease removed from embryo

Ground-breaking techniques allowed Lucas to be born fit, healthy and free of disease
Ground-breaking techniques allowed Lucas to be born fit, healthy and free of disease

Sarah Knapton

The first baby has been born in Europe as the result of a new IVF procedure that checks embryos for devastating genetic disorders.

Lucas Neagu was at high risk of inheriting a rare form of muscular dystrophy which would have left him with weak muscles making walking and everyday tasks difficult.

However a ground-breaking technique which has been  pioneered by fertility doctors at the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health in London has allowed Lucas to be born fit, healthy and free of disease.

He is the first baby in Europe, and potentially the world, to be born using the technique, known as karyomapping. A US genetics laboratory also reported success in the procedure in January of this year, but the identity of the child and the precise date of the birth has not been released.

Previous embryo testing procedures, known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, have long been recognised as expensive and time-consuming and require the tailoring of a specific test for each parent or disorder.

Conventional methods require months of laboratory work while karyomapping takes less than a fortnight and is able to detect more than 200 disorders.

Lucas’ mother Carmen (26), who works in recruitment, inherited Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease from her father, who suffered with the illness all his life.

The procedure started in December 2013 and Lucas was born a year later. He is now three months old, happy and healthy.

Mr and Mrs Neagu froze two more embryos during the first round of IVF and are planning to have at least one more child within five years.

© The Sunday Telegraph

Telegraph.co.uk

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