First IVF baby in Europe born with DNA selected to eliminate muscular dystrophy risk

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Baby Lucas with his parents Carmen and Gabriel, via 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 rare 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 and can pick up a range of diseases.

Lucas’ mother Carmen, 26, who works in recruitment, inherited Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease from her father who suffered with the illness all his life.

It causes weakness and wasting of the muscles below the knees and often those of the hands and can lead to loss of feeling in the fingers and legs.

Although Mrs Meagu only has mild symptoms, she was concerned that her children would inherit the disease and specialists warned that there was a 50 per cent chance she would pass on the illness.

To isolate the genes responsible for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease doctors took DNA swabs from Mrs Meagu, her mother and Lucas’s father Gabriel, 30, who works for Vodafone.

They then compared the gene sequences at 300,000 different points of the chromosomes to work out which section of genetic code was defective and responsible for the abnormality.

The couple then underwent a normal IVF cycle but, crucially, the embryos created from the procedure were biopsied to find out which ones were free of the genetic disease.

Read full, original article: First baby born from IVF technique that eliminates inherited disease

  • RosemaryAmey

    CMT runs in my family. It is not a form of muscular dystrophy.

    Also, the DNA was not “corrected”, they selected embryos that did not have the CMT gene(s).

    • Thank you for pointing out the poorly written headline; it has been corrected.

    • RosemarysBaby

      Exactly.
      They say it ” has allowed Lucas to be born fit, healthy and free of disease.”
      It didn’t allow him to be born healthy, he was healthy so they allowed him to be born.

    • Karen Butcher

      Thank you for pointing that out, nothing annoys me more than misinformation. You can find out about CMT At http://www.cmt.org.uk

  • Robert Tucker

    AWESOME!
    As someone in constant chronic pain from multiple birth defects, those who are against this ENRAGE me. Just spend 5-min in my skin… If they lived or remained sane, THEN stay opposed to this!
    What your imaginary friend says is meaningless.

    • RosemaryAmey

      You do realize they aren’t talking about treating people’s genetic problems, they are talking about making sure those of us with the wrong genes are not born?

      I also suffer from chronic pain and would be thrilled if some of my genes could be corrected.