Scientific research

Maastricht UMC+’s Clinical Genetics unit conducts PGD research ranging from psychosocial studies to clinical trials and laboratory research.

For instance, we are investigating the motives and considerations which may contribute to the PGD-related choices people make, and how healthcare providers can make it easier for people to make such choices. Our main objective is to help couples make decisions which are appropriate in their circumstances, so as to minimise the negative psychological consequences attendant on such decisions. In addition, we are investigating family dynamics within families who have requested PGD where one parent is afflicted with a hereditary disease.

As far as clinical trials are concerned, we are monitoring the physical and mental health of all children born following PGD to assess the long-term safety of the procedure. To date, trials conducted in the Netherlands and internationally have not given us any evidence that PGD may be harmful to children.

In addition, we are developing new laboratory techniques to screen for complex hereditary disorders, investigating the safety of IVF (i.e. hormones) in women carrying a BRCA mutation, and investigating how BRCA mutations affect female fertility.