Newborn X-ALD Screening: What You Need to Know
By David Doolittle


You care for newborns and new mothers, so you might know about adrenoleukodystrophy.

And I probably don’t have to tell you that it’s an x-linked metabolic disorder that affects 1 in 17,000 people.

If I told you it destroys the protective sheath that surrounds the brain’s neurons, called myelin, you’d probably nod your head and add that it also affects the adrenal glands that produce hormones.

But did you know that Texas will be adding X-ALD screening to the newborn screening panel at the end of this summer?

Actually, you probably did.

But if you didn’t know what I was talking about, or if you just want more information about ALD, including the newborn screening follow-up process and how to confirm diagnosis and treatment for X-ALD, be sure to attend an upcoming webinar presented by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

The webinar, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 31, is part of DSHS’ Grand Rounds series.

It will feature Lisa Emrick, MD, medical director of neurogenetics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital; Debra Freedenberg, MD, medical director of DSHS’ Newborn Screening Unit and Genetics; and James Gibson, MD, clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School.

If you want to attend the webinar in person, it will be held at the DSHS headquarters at 1100 W. 49th St. in Austin.

More information, including how to register, can be found on the DSHS’ website, or by emailing[at]dshs[dot]texas[dot]gov or calling 512-776-2682.

Last Updated On

July 18, 2019

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David Doolittle


(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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