House Approves Murt’s Bill to Test Newborns for Neurological Illness
5/16/2016
HARRISBURG—Legislation sponsored by Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) to require an additional medical test for newborns has passed the House.

House Bill 498 would amend the Newborn Child Testing Act of 1965 to add Non-ketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH) to the list of disorders for newborn screening.

“Pennsylvania currently provides screening and follow-up services for all reported abnormal newborn screening results and follow-up services for 23 additional inherited genetic disorders,” Murt said. “My legislation will add NKH to the list of disorders for screening. Currently, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee screen newborns for NKH.”

NKH, also known as glycine encephalopathy, is a severe and rare disorder affecting about one in every 60,000 live births. NKH impairs nervous tissue, including the brain, leading to symptoms such as seizures, breathing and feeding difficulties, muscle limpness and lethargy.

NKH usually becomes apparent soon after birth; however, sometimes symptoms start to arise in later infancy.

“While there is currently no known cure, detecting NKH early and beginning proper treatment may help prevent or delay some of the severe health outcomes associated with the condition,” Murt said.

While all states require newborn screenings for every infant, the number and types of conditions on a state's screening panel varies.

The legislative now moves to the Senate.

Representative Thomas P. Murt
152nd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
267.207.0207
dfoster@pahousegop.com
RepMurt.com / Facebook.com/RepMurt

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