Genetics 101 - What are genetic defects and how are they caused?
Each cell in your body contains chromosomes, which contain our genetic material in genes. Each cell has thousands of genes. These are the ingredients that make us who we are. We inherit 23 pairs of chromosomes from our parents. Genetic disease is caused by an abnormality of a gene or entire chromosome (which would affect many genes.) This can occur in many ways, such as absence of a gene, too many genes, or a gene that is only partially present, missing chromosomes or extra chromosomes. The human body likes the exact number of genes it is supposed to have and completely intact. If this is not the case, genetic abnormalities occur, which can lead to miscarriage or the birth of a human being with a congenital disease or defect.
CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridization) is the newest technology for genetic screening. It is similar to PGD, in that it is used to analyze genetic material from an embryo to determine its genetic make-up. But, CGH is able to screen for more genetic problems and has a faster turnaround time.
CGH is being performed at a number of centers around the world, including Red Rock Fertility Center. We are lucky to have one of the most respected CGH labs right here in Las Vegas, Genesis Genetics. They are located approximately five miles from our center and this enables us to have results in less than 24 hours.
CGH allows regions on every chromosome to be analysed for abnormalities compared with current techniques, which are restricted to specific problems on the chromosomes. A number of studies have indicated that CGH increases the success rate of IVF. This has been demonstrated in a number of studies, which have shown a 70% success rate, which is similar to what we have seen in our program.
One recent study has shown that CGH may be a better approach for pre-implantation genetic screening (reported by BBC news). The clinical trials were undertaken on 23 women with an average age of 37, in order to assess the effectiveness of CGH; chromosome screens were obtained for 91% of embryos tested and 70% percent of the cycles that went to embryo transfer resulted in clinical pregnancy.
CGH is an excellent option for screening for specific genetic diseases. CGH does not guarantee that it can screen for every genetic problem, but it is currently the best technology available.
To learn more about Genetic Screening schedule a consultation by filling out the form to the right or call 702.262.0079