Newborn screening for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in China: follow-up diagnosis and subsequent treatment
Newborn screening for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is currently being initiated in Zhejiang Province, China and is under consideration in other countries, including the United States. As China begins to implement DMD newborn screening (DMD-NBS), there is ongoing discussion regarding the steps forward for follow up care of positively identified patients as well as false positive and false negative results.
Relevant papers related to DMD-NBS, and NBS in China were reviewed in PubMed.
The current state of DMD-NBS is discussed, along with the steps needed to effectively screen infants for this disease in China, recommendations for establishment of follow up care in patients with positive and negative screens, and measurement of patient outcomes.
Zhejiang Province, China is ready to implement DMD-NBS. Future challenges that exist for this program, and other countries, include the ability to track patients, assist with access to care, and ensure adequate follow-up care according to evidence-based guidelines. In addition, China’s large rural population, lack of specialty providers, and difficulty in educating patients regarding the benefits of treatment create challenges that will need to be addressed.
KeywordsDuchene muscular dystrophy neurology neuromuscular disorders newborn screening
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