Illinois newborns to be screened for rare brain disorder

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State health officials say they’re adding a screening for a rare hereditary disorder that affects the brain, nervous system and adrenal gland test for all newborn babies in Illinois.

Adrenoleukodystrophy (uh-DREE’-noh-loo-koh-DIS’-truh-fe) affects about 1 in 20,000 births.

The Illinois Department of Public Health began rolling out the test earlier this week.

Babies with the disorder can have normal brains at birth, but the disorder can become deadly without treatment.

Treatments include adrenal steroid replacement and stem cell transplantation and are effective only during a narrow window.

Illinois is the 14th state to screen for the disorder.

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