Welcome to Early Check! Let’s get started.

Welcome to Early Check! Let’s get started.

Early Check is a research study that checks for a small number of rare but serious health problems in newborns. We call this the Early Check Panel. It currently includes fragile X syndrome, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and muscular dystrophy. 

The screening tests are free.

Parents can sign up when pregnant or within 4 weeks after the baby is born.

Watch this short video to learn about Early Check. You can read the text instead of watching the video by clicking the “Read” link.

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Congratulations on your baby! You can sign up your baby for Early Check to learn more about your baby’s health. This is a special opportunity for babies born in North Carolina.

What is Early Check? Early Check is a research study to check babies soon after birth for rare but serious health problems. The Early Check screening tests are free and no appointments are needed. It is up to parents to decide whether to sign up their babies.

Why join Early Check? Choosing Early Check gives parents information about the health of their baby. It allows parents to know if their newborn has specific health problems instead of waiting for symptoms to start. Knowing early may help the babies and their families. Right now, there is no cure for the health problems screened for in Early Check. But researchers are looking for better treatments, and there are already ways to help the babies get the best start. Parents can join by giving permission for their babies to enroll in Early Check.

Early Check Panel
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Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

SMA is a life-threatening genetic condition.  It affects about 1 in 10,000 babies during the first months of life.

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Fragile X Syndrome (FXS)

FXS is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability in boys. About 1 in 4000 boys has FXS, but girls can also be affected.

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Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and related conditions

DMD is a genetic condition that causes muscle weakness that is usually noticed in the preschool years. It gets worse over time. DMD affects around 1 in 5000 boys, but girls can also be affected.