Nixon requires Missouri newborns to be tested for five diseases

JEFFERSON CITY | Missouri newborns will be tested for some rare and often fatal genetic diseases starting in July 2012.

Missouri already requires that babies be screened for 67 diseases. Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Wednesday that also will require testing for five lysosomal storage diseases. Under the bill, infants will be checked for Krabbe, Pompe, Gaucher, Niemann-Pick and Fabry.

Missouri becomes one of the few states checking for lysosomal disorders. New York checks for Krabbe, and Illinois is to start checking for five disorders next year.

The Missouri bill is named after Brady Cunningham, a southeast Missouri boy who died in April from Krabbe disease. His family lobbied for the bill and appeared at a bill signing ceremony at the Capitol.