Yourwellness Magazine Takes Closer Look at Amniocentesis

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With grieving parents launching a foundation to raise awareness of amniocentesis’ role in preventing ALD-related death, Yourwellness Magazine took a closer look at amniocentesis.

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Parents whose son, Ethan Zakes, passed away from Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) are raising awareness about how amniocentesis can increase the survival rate for the disease, it was announced in the Bellevue Reporter on September 19th. According to the article, “Skating for a cause | Bellevue family's foundation carrying on legacy of lost son,” Ethan’s parents have launched The Zakes Foundation, a non-profit organisation geared at increasing the frequency and volume of newborn screening for ALD. Father Brad Zakes commented, ‘The test is relatively straightforward. It's just a matter of having it done so in that rare occurrence where it is detected, it gives the family the opportunity to know shortly after birth.’ (http://www.bellevuereporter.com/sports/224427041.html)

This inspired Yourwellness Magazine to outline how amniocentesis works. Yourwellness Magazine explained, ‘Amniocentesis is a diagnostic test carried out during pregnancy. It can assess whether the unborn baby (foetus) could develop, or has developed, an abnormality or serious health condition.’ Yourwellness Magazine clarified that the procedure is usually carried out during weeks 15-20 of pregnancy. A needle is used to extract a sample of amniotic fluid – the fluid that surrounds the foetus in the womb – so that it can be examined and tested for a number of conditions. (http://www.yourwellness.com/topics/menu/health-a-z/information-of-pregnancy/information-of-amniocentesis/#sthash.sz8s2iGL.dpuf)

Yourwellness Magazine noted some of the conditions for which amniocentesis can be used to detect:

1. Down’s syndrome. This is a genetic condition that affects a person’s physical appearance and mental development.

2. Spina bifida. This is a series of birth defects that affect the development of the spine and nervous system.

3. Sickle cell anaemia. This is a condition that causes unusually shaped red blood cells.
Yourwellness Magazine added that diagnostic tests, such as amniocentesis, are usually only offered to women when there is a significant risk their baby will develop a serious condition or abnormality. This is because the procedure is quite invasive and has a small associated risk of miscarriage. Yourwellness Magazine commented that diagnostic tests are voluntary, and counselling should be provided to make it easier to cope with the results of amniocentesis.

To find out more, visit the gateway to living well at http://www.yourwellness.com.

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Michael Kitt
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