Published on 10/04/2012
The UK baby screening programme is to be extended to include another five rare inherited conditions, as part of a government pilot scheme.
Currently every baby born in the UK is tested for five illnesses, including cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anaemia. This screening process has been running for around 10 years, and is performed using a pinprick blood test.
Now, the government has announced that the programme will test for another five conditions in a 12 month long trial: maple syrup urine disease, homocystinuria, glutaric acidaemia type 1, isovaleric acidaemia and long-chain fatty acidaemia.
More than 400,000 babies are expected to be screened in the pilot, which will take place in Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and some parts of London from July 2012.
The trial will be funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), and aims to discover if more rare illnesses can be identified and treated early on.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, said: 'this is a fantastic step forward for the new-born screening programme and shows the NHS at the cutting-edge.’
'This pilot will identify more babies with serious conditions, giving them the chance to live a long, healthy life.’
The results of the trial will be evaluated after a year and the findings will be considered by the UK National Screening Committee.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: Medical