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Blood test aims to speed child intellectual disability diagnoses

The Social Security Administration has a lot of responsibilities to fulfill. One of them is to provide Supplemental Security Income for those who are eligible for it. Determining that eligibility is often a difficult hurdle to clear, and an experienced attorney's help is always recommended.

The criteria used in making the call include a determination that the child has no income and limited resources. A child must also be provably disabled with a physical or mental condition that has lasted, or will last, at least a year, or which will end in death.

Obviously, that suggests that the earlier a child's family knows for certain that a developmental disability exists or is possible, the better. And now, there's a blood test that aims to help in this regard.

The test, called the CytoScan Dx Assay, got Food and Drug Administration approval just last week. What it reportedly does is identify variations in a baby's chromosomes that are known to be associated with an array of developmental disorders, including Down and DiGeorge syndromes. The theory is that if diagnoses for these known disorders can be made earlier, it will mean the patients will get necessary care and support earlier.

Some medical experts note that there are already targeted genetic tests to detect individual suspected conditions, but they observe that this new test is faster and offers a more comprehensive screening tool for more conditions. Indeed, the FDA says the test's ability to look at the patient's full genetic code and spot apparent variants is one reason it gave its approval.

Source: ABC News, "FDA OKs Mental Disability Blood Test for Infants," Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press, Jan. 17, 2014 

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