Newborn screening program to include SMA - Muscular Dystrophy Queensland

Newborn screening program to include SMA

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neuromuscular condition affecting the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and voluntary (or skeletal) muscle movement.

The Honourable Yvette D’Ath, Minister for Health and Ambulance Services announced recently:

“Testing for SMA and SCID would improve the quality of life and life expectancy of babies diagnosed with either of the two conditions.

That’s why the Queensland Government is investing $1.6 million to expand the screening program and a further $1.25 million each year to maintain it.

Importantly, screening will continue to be made available for free to every Queensland parent.”

Spinal muscular atrophy

Minister D’Ath thanked the parents and groups who advocated strongly SMA and SCID testing.

“The passion and commitment of advocates has not gone unnoticed, and future parents will be in their debt for the work they have done,” she said

This is such welcome news for our community living with rare conditions. Early diagnosis leads to earlier access to treatments which are so important, particularly for children with SMA who are now able to access Spinraza which may slow the progression of symptoms.

You can read the full media statement here.