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BW Businessworld

The tale of Thalassemia and Rewarding technology

PGD is a technology through which doctors do gene editing on the embryos to create a healthy baby in the lab and implant it in the women uterus, so that child becomes Thalassemia (inherited blood disorder) free forever. It also makes sure that the child doesn’t pass on this hereditary disease to the next generation.

Photo Credit : PTI

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On April 15, 2020, Dr Gauri Agarwal helped a couple to deliver a baby who is suffering from Thalassemia. With the help of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) technique, Dr Gauri succeeded to deliver a healthy baby (Thalassemia free baby). The thalassemias are among the most common inherited diseases worldwide. There are 350,000 new cases of thalassemia’s diagnosed every year. Thalassemia is a diverse group of genetic blood disorders which are characterized by absent or decreased production of normal hemoglobin, resulting in microcytic anemia of varying degree.
 
Dr Gauri Agarwal, Director of Seeds of Innocence (IVF Facility) & Gene strings (Genetic Lab), Infertility & IVF Specialist, shared the story of the couple with BW Businessworld. “The Parents of the baby were T Minor, the couple also had few abortions before, so there was a 25% risk of getting Thalassemia transferred to the baby. But I’m happy to report that the baby is healthy and doing very well. It was possible because the parents were aware of the disease and got diagnosed at the right time”. Dr Gauri further discussed how she and her team used PGD technology for the delivery. “PGD is a technology through which doctors do gene editing on the embryos to create a healthy baby in the lab and implant it in the women uterus, so that child becomes thalassemia free forever. It also makes sure that the child doesn’t pass on this hereditary disease to the next generation”, she said. A large vulnerable group of children are tied to the blood transfusion sets from a very young age. Worldwide 56,000 conceptions have a major thalassemia disorder of which approximately 30,000 are affected by β-thalassemia major and 3500 succumb perinatally from the hydrops fetalis syndrome.
 
“Every Gynecologist should get a Thalassemia check of the parents before pregnancy. There is also a need for more awareness regarding the thalassemia disease”, Dr Gauri stated.


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Dr Gauri Agarwal thalassemia