Pa. lawmaker calls for expansion of newborn screenings

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A state representative has introduced legislation to add a metabolic disorder to the diseases for which hospitals must screen newborns.

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie) says his measure, House Bill 2012, would add adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD, to the list.

ALD is an inherited metabolic disorder that affects the nervous system and can be fatal if not treated before symptoms arise.

Bizzarro says legislation last year added five diseases to the newborn screening list, but ALD wasn’t among them. He says ALD can be detected through the same heel pinprick newborns are already subject to under the Newborn Child Testing Act.

He added that since New York began screening for ALD in newborns two years ago, more than 30 babies have tested positive for the disorder.

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