SMA Could Soon Be on Newborn Screening List in the U.S.

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) could soon be on the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP) list thanks to a concerted effort by Cure SMA through its Newborn Screening Coalition.

MORE: Newborns in North Carolina to receive free screening for SMA.

A review committee for the RUSP will look at approved treatments, how the disease has developed in the U.S., evidence that pre-symptom treatments are effective, and any data from pilot screenings. They’ll also determine whether or not there’s a reliable diagnostic test available. The committee is due to take comments regarding the inclusion of SMA in May. The acceptance process could take around a year.

If accepted, it will then be up to individual states to decide whether to screen newborns for SMA. Find out more about this story here. 

Screenings at birth will allow those affected by the disease to begin care immediately and get the most out of the treatments available. It will also spare babies and families months of diagnostic tests.

MORE: A study reveals views of SMA patients and families about genetic screening.

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