March 3, 2024

PGD could cause long-term problems

PGD mice have poorer memories

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is offered by many IVF clinics to guarantee a healthy baby or a baby of the right sex. Although it is generally considered a safe practice, no rigorous long-term studies of the health of PGD children have been carried out — as is the case with most IVF procedures. However, since a cell is removed from the developing embryo to be tested for its genetic characteristics, some trauma seems possible.

A study in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteonomics now suggests that PGD in mice may increase the risk of weight gain and memory decline in adulthood. Scientists found that while there was little difference between biopsied embryos and normal embryos during embryo development, after implantation, successful births from biopsied embryos were significantly lower.

Furthermore, mice in the biopsied group on average had higher body weight and poorer memory in maze tests. The authors suggest that the developing nervous system may be sensitive to blastomere biopsy, and that more studies should be performed to address any possible long-term adverse effects of PGD to ensure its safety. ~, July 21

Michael Cook