Genetic Diagnosis & Stem Cell Therapy Specialist

Steven A. Brody, MD, PhD -  - Fertility Specialist

Infertility & Lifespan Medical Institute

Steven A. Brody, MD, PhD

Fertility Specialist & Reproductive Endocrinologist located in San Diego, CA

Dr. Steven Brody, a fertility expert practicing at the Infertility & Lifespan Medical Institute in San Diego, California, offers Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). This innovative genetic screening process identifies the most healthy, viable embryos to be implanted during in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. If you have questions about PGD or are interested in IVF treatments, call or schedule a consultation online today to talk to Dr. Brody in more detail.

Genetic Diagnosis & Stem Cell Therapy Q & A

What is PGD?

PGD screens embryos as part of the IVF process to identify any genetic abnormalities that could lead to miscarriage or severe birth defects. When embryos are created via IVF, several days pass, allowing the cells to merge and multiply before being implanted or frozen for future use. After three to five days, one or two cells are removed from the embryo for PGD testing.

DNA is extracted from the cells and tested for signs of genetic abnormalities that could lead to birth defects like Tay Sachs, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or even miscarriage.  Dr. Brody and his lab technicians can also check the sex of the embryos at this time.

Why would I have PGD?

There are many reasons you may choose to have PGD. Many patients want to do everything they can to ensure a viable pregnancy and healthy baby.

Older couples may opt for PGD to improve their chances of successful IVF treatment since their risk of genetic abnormalities is higher and typically produce fewer embryos. When healthy, genetically normal embryos from a woman over the age of 38 are implanted, they have the same likelihood of successful implantation as a woman in her early 30s.

Often, when couples have experienced multiple miscarriages or failed IVF attempts, PGD is used to determine if a chromosomal abnormality is preventing a successful pregnancy.

What conditions can PGD detect?

PGD screens for over 100 different genetic issues including, but not limited to:

 

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Gaucher disease
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Tay Sachs disease
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Sanhoff disease
  • Neurofibromatosis

 

What happens during PGD?

PGD is part of the IVF process. After your eggs have been harvested and fertilized, they develop for up to five days before implantation or freezing. At this point, there is sufficient cellular development to extract a couple of cells for genetic screening.

Dr. Brody uses PGD to test for defects so that only genetically normal embryos with the highest potential for continued development are implanted in the IVF process. He uses comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to identify every chromosome in a cell. This method is more thorough than methods that only probe for specific genetic issues on a fraction of the 23 chromosome pairs.

If you have questions about PGD or IFV, call or make an appointment online to talk to Dr. Brody in more detail.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are unique structures which are responsible for the growth and development of the human body. Stem cells are found in virtually every tissue and organ. These cells are like the stems of the plant which grow and divide into branches and leaves.

Stem cells can differentiate into virtually any cell type. In other words, they can regenerate cells in the human body. By replacing dead and dying cells with brand-new cells the possibility of restoration of normal tissue function is possible. In other words, stem cells offer the possibility of regenerating organs.

How are stem cells obtained?

Stem cells may be retrieved from body by several different mechanisms. In some cases, stem cells are retrieved from the person’s bone marrow, utilizing a relatively simple aspiration process. In other cases stem cells are retrieved and harvested from a person’s own fat tissue. The fat tissue is obtained by liposuction. Stem cells can also be obtained from umbilical cord blood at the time of a baby’s birth.

How are stem cells used?

Stem cells can be used to restore the function of tissues and organs in the body. In some cases, stem cells may be injected directly in joints in an attempt to restore as much functions as possible. The injection of stem cells into the knee is one of the most common orthopedic procedures utilizing stem cells. Stem cells may also be injected systemically via an intravenous line. In these cases, the stem cells are being used to treat disorders which affect the whole body or major organ systems. Remember, success rates using stem cells are mixed; they are not guaranteed. Future scientific advances will certainly bring new miracles

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