VUB professor discovers genetic cause of low birth weight among children conceived after fertility treatment

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© Yakobchuck Viacheslav
© Yakobchuck Viacheslav
VUB professor Claudia Spits, of the Reproduction and Genetics research group, has identified a genetic cause for the increased risk of low birth weight in babies born following assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF. "Previous studies have identified treatment-related causes for low birth weight, but this is the first time we have been able to identify an underlying genetic factor," says Professor Spits. She organised a large-scale study with Brussels IVF (the centre for reproductive medicine at UZ Brussel), the centre for medical genetics (CMG) at UZ Brussel and Maastricht University Medical Centre (UMC).

Initially, she studied the DNA of babies born both from spontaneous pregnancies and after fertility treatment. ...
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