Huntington’s families now have several options when considering when and how to have children. One of these options is PGD – Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis, sometimes known as PGT (T for Testing). This allows people to use IVF technology to ensure that only embryos without the HD-causing mutation are implanted, meaning that these children will grow up HD-free.
One major obstacle has been the cost, which runs into the tens of thousands of dollars per cycle. On 11th May, 2021, the Health Minister Greg Hunt announced in the budget that the government would be allocating money to support this procedure. The Department of Health website states that there will be:
“$95.9 million for new tests on the MBS for pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) of embryos for specific genetic or chromosomal abnormalities prior to implantation and pregnancy.” This includes Huntington’s disease.
This is great news for the HD community, who will now have more options when thinking about the families they want to create. At this point, we don’t have specific details, such as how the scheme will operate, which centres will be involved etc. Huntington’s NSW & ACT will follow this issue closely and update you with any information when it comes to hand.
If you wish to discuss PGD, we suggest you contact your local genetic counselling service: