MDHHS adds X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy and Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency to newborn screening panel

LANSING — As of Oct. 7, Michigan babies with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) and severe combined immunodeficiency caused by adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA-SCID) can be diagnosed early thanks to the addition of X-ALD and ADA-SCID to the state’s newborn screening panel.

Newborn screening is a public health program required by Michigan law to identify babies with rare but serious disorders, like X-ALD and ADA-SCID. All babies need to be screened in order to find the small number who look healthy but have a rare medical condition. Michigan’s newborn screening system provides testing and follow up for more than 50 conditions.

X-ALD is a rare genetic disorder affecting about 1 in 20,000 individuals. People with X-ALD cannot break down very long chain fatty acids, which are found in the foods we eat and in our body’s fat tissues. These fatty acids build up in the body and cause symptoms affecting the brain, nervous system and adrenal glands. There are usually no symptoms at birth or in infants and toddlers. The condition affects males and females differently. Typically, males have more symptoms, though females can develop mild symptoms as adults. Early diagnosis allows boys to be monitored pre-symptomatically to ensure treatment is initiated at the appropriate time to be most successful.

To learn more about X-ALD and SCID, visit

To learn more about newborn screening in Michigan, contact the MDHHS Newborn Screening Program at 866-673-9939, via email at NewbornScreening@, or visit newbornscreening. G.G.