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Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2011 Feb 15;157C(1):63-71. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.30291. Epub 2011 Feb 10.

Newborn screening for lysosomal storage disorders.

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Department of Pediatrics, Kumamoto University, Honjo, Japan.


Lysosomes are intracellular organelles containing acid hydrolases that degrade biological macromolecules. Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) are caused by absent activity of one or more of these enzymes due to mutations of genes encoding lysosomal hydrolases or enzymes that process, target, and transport these enzymes. The specific signs and symptoms of each LSD derive from the type of material accumulated within the lysosome, the site (organ) of accumulation and the response of the body (sometimes in the form of an inflammatory or immune response) to the accumulated material. Interest for inclusion of these disorders in newborn screening programs derives from the availability of effective therapy in the form of enzyme replacement or substrate reduction therapy and bone marrow transplant that may improve long-term outcome especially if started prior to irreversible organ damage. Based on the availability of therapy and suitable screening methods, Gaucher disease, Fabry disease, Pompe disease, mucopolysaccharidosis I and II, Niemann-Pick disease, and Krabbe disease are candidates for newborn screening. Pilot newborn screening projects have been performed for some of these conditions that indicate the feasibility of this approach. This review will provide insight into these screening strategies and discuss their advantages and limitations.

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