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Blood Test Detects Down Syndrome During Pregnancy
Date:2/23/2012

Sequenom did for its test.

Several other companies are developing prenatal tests for Down syndrome, said Skotko, who predicted that competition in the prenatal blood test market would lead to lower prices. Sequenom has said that its test won't cost mothers more than $235 in out-of-pocket costs.

The growth of these kinds of tests raises major questions, Skotko said: Will the tests become routine? If so, "will babies with Down syndrome slowly start to disappear?"

Some pregnant mothers choose to abort their unborn children after they are diagnosed with Down syndrome. Statistics suggest that their numbers have risen in recent decades, Skotko said.

More information

For more on Down Syndrome, go to U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCES: Brian Skotko, M.D., physician, Down Syndrome Program, Children's Hospital Boston; American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, news release, Feb. 22, 2012


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