Early identification and treatment

It is now possible to identify affected children a few weeks after birth with the development of a simple, reliable and inexpensive test called the Guthrie Test for excessive serum phenylalanine.

In a majority of the cases, the newborn babies are tested before they can be discharged from the hospital. In the procedure, a technician pricks a newborn's heel and prepares a small filter paper disk of dried blood. It is placed on top of a plate containing bacteria that grow only if phenylalanine is present. By comparing the results with control samples, it can be determined if an infant has the disease.

Most Popular on Medindia