CCS Genetic Screening at RMACT
I plead ignorance. What is Willams Syndrome and could the new research about it enable targeted genetic screening to avoid it? Do you know that Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) is one of a select handful of fertility clinics in the United States that offers genetic screening technology, known as CCS (Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening)? And what's the connection to Williams Syndrome?
Learning More About Williams Syndrome
Chances are you plead ignorance, too. Until ABC ran a news story on June 9, 2011 and brought Williams Syndrome to our attention, not too many people knew about it. Immediately, it was on the top ten highest news stories for three straight days. That's a lot of days for a news story. So much interest was generated in this syndrome that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) got involved as well.
As reported by Edward Lovett for ABC, in Fall 2011, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) awarded a $5.5 million grant to scientists from several institutions and disciplines to study Williams Syndrome, striving to learn how genes govern behavior. Lovett's recent article on the growth in awareness and research about Williams Syndrome from March 16, 2012, notes that this NICHD study could produce drugs and therapies for those affected.
The connection to infertility research is quite simple. As fertility experts are able to look at embryos and genes more and more closely, we are able to avoid many diseases and syndromes. Is Williams one of those diseases or syndromes that you would choose to screen for? Maybe not. How about some of the more common genetic diseases that are able to be identified through screening? Or, better yet, how about screening every single one of the chromosones that create an embryo and checking that they are normal before transferrring them, to help create a healthy pregnancy?
CCS: Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening
We have that technology now and fertilty doctors at RMACT are using it. CCS or Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening reduces miscarriages as the embryos are normal and healthy; allows for fewer embryos to be transferred in an IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle, therefore creating less multiple births; and more. We uncover new things each day, technology advances and we are able to treat diseases and syndromes more sucessfully, more often. So, who knows how or if Williams Syndrome will be affected by infertility research and treatment. Already, there is much more research on Williams Syndrome, money and attention being paid to it. Perhaps there will be a link.
Meanwhile we have award-winning research to support a technology that helps create healthy families, one baby at a time. Learn more about genetic screening and the specifics of Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) with this informative video below.