PLAINFIELD—State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) was the chief-co sponsor of a key legislative initiative that requires newborns to be screened for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a genetic, progressive neuromuscular disorder. While the legislation, SB456, unanimously passed the House of Representatives back in 2018, it went into effect today.
SMA is the number one cause of children dying before the age of two, if the disease is not treated. Because of the law enacted by SB456, starting today, screening for this disease is required. For Representative Batinick, one of the sponsors behind this initiative, adding this screening is essential to our healthcare system.
“This now required test for SMA is key to helping save newborn babies,” said Rep. Batinick. “In so many aspects of our healthcare early detection is key, and with SMA it is no different. This genetic disease has taken the lives of too many newborns, and now, our state has taken the right step forward to help prevent any more.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health has stated that this disease is rare, and nationally, about 1 in every 11,000 babies will be diagnosed with SMA. While there is no cure, there are two treatments available that have made an impact in clinical trials.
With today’s law now effective, Illinois is the 25th state to permanently screen for SMA.