What happens if a baby tests positive for PKU?
Newborn babies who test positive for PKU are placed on phenylalanine-free formula right away. As babies start to eat solid food, their diet will need to be restricted. This is because phenylalanine is found in many foods with protein. A child with PKU should not eat milk, fish, cheese, nuts, beans, or meat.
What does PKU mean?
Overview. Phenylketonuria (fen-ul-key-toe-NU-ree-uh), also called PKU, is a rare inherited disorder that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in the body. PKU is caused by a defect in the gene that helps create the enzyme needed to break down phenylalanine.
What disorders does PKU test for?
Test Overview A phenylketonuria (PKU) test is done to check whether a newborn baby has the enzyme needed to use phenylalanine in his or her body. Phenylalanine is an amino acid that is needed for normal growth and development.
Is PKU a disability?
The Social Security Administration does recognize phenylketonuria in its Blue Book of Medical Listings under Section 10.00 in paragraph C. 2. However, a diagnosis of the condition itself is not enough to qualify an individual for Social Security Disability benefits, regardless of the SSA’s listing inclusion.
How can PKU be treated?
The main treatment for PKU is a low-protein diet that completely avoids high-protein foods (such as meat, eggs and dairy products) and controls the intake of many other foods, such as potatoes and cereals.
Can PKU disease be cured?
There is no cure for PKU. The most important treatment is a diet that limits foods with phenylalanine. This means the diet must be low in protein. Newborns diagnosed with the disease must use special infant formula.
How long do PKU patients live?
The average age at death was 55.8 years. Eleven subjects were still alive (seven females and four males). The oldest living male was 79 years of age. The average age of the survivors was 55.7 years.
How to diagnose PKU?
PKU is diagnosed through a routine neonatal screening performed at the hospital by law in the USA, as well as in many other developed countries. The test is performed as soon as the child is born and involves taking a drop of blood from the baby’s heel.
How do you perform a PKU test?
Health care providers conduct a PKU screening test using a few drops of blood from a newborn’s heel. The blood sample, which can be used to screen for other conditions as well, is tested in a laboratory to determine if it has too much phenylalanine in it.
What effect does PKU have on the body?
Too much phenylalanine in the body causes problems with the brain and other organs. Damage from a buildup of phenylalanine can begin within the first month of life and, if undetected and/or untreated, PKU results in severe mental retardation, hyperactivity, and seizures.
What does an abnormal PKU test mean?
Dr. Greene’s Answer: The PKU test is a screening test for PHENYLKETONURIA (PKU). The normal values of the test depend entirely on the laboratory where the test is run, and the methods and units used. In some cases the number can be normal up to 20; in others, anything above 1.2 is abnormal.