New IVF procedure provides fresh hope

Baby Lucas with his parents Carmen and Gabriel Photo: Geoff Pugh. THE TELEGRAPH
Baby Lucas with his parents Carmen and Gabriel Photo: Geoff Pugh. THE TELEGRAPH

THE first baby has been born in Europe from a new IVF procedure that checks embryos for devastating genetic disorders.

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

However, a ground-breaking technique which is being pioneered by fertility doctors in London has allowed Lucas to be born fit, healthy and free of disease.

Traditional embryo testing procedures require months of laboratory work but the latest technique, known as karyomapping, takes less than a fortnight.

Lucas’s mother Carmen, 26, inherited Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease from her father.

Although the mother only has mild symptoms, she was concerned that her children would inherit the disease and specialists warned that there was a 50% chance she would pass it on. But that was “too high’’, so she chose the new procedure.

To isolate the genes responsible for the disease doctors took DNA swabs from Meagu, her mother and Lucas’s father, Gabriel, 30.

Doctors then worked out which section of their genetic codes was defective, isolated these, and used a normal IVF cycle.

The procedure started in December 2013 and Lucas was born a year later.

– The Telegraph

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