Skip to Content

Improved newborn screenings for genetic disorders

Published on March 10, 2017

Improved newborn screenings for genetic disorders

David Tilstra, MD, Genetics
CentraCare Clinic - Health Plaza Genetics

Newborn screeningWhen your baby enters the world, the last thing you want to think about is that something could be wrong. Newborn screenings help alleviate those fears.

Since 1965, Minnesota newborns have been tested soon after birth for rare disorders including hearing loss, causes of intellectual disabilities, seizures and critical congenital heart disease. Newborn screening in Minnesota consists of three simple tests: blood spot screening, hearing screening and pulse oximetry screening.

Recently, the Minnesota Department of Health added adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) screening. X-ALD happens when certain fats cannot be broken down in the body. These fats build up and cause health problems. The nervous system and adrenal glands are damaged the most.

Two additional screenings soon will join Minnesota’s mandatory list. These new screenings mean newborns will be tested for 60 different conditions with one blood test within the first day or two of life. The goal is to detect health conditions as soon as possible so treatment can be started as soon as possible — before long-term injury occurs and many times before symptoms start.

The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that the new screenings will help five to 15 newborns in our state every year.

Health information accessed through www.centracare.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information on our web site and “For the Health of It” blog. However, this information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please contact your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

About the Author

David Tilstra, MD

David Tilstra, MD
Genetics
CentraCare Clinic - Health Plaza Genetics
Learn more about Dr. Tilstra

Share This Post

For the Health of It