Innovative targeted treatments for neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) can dramatically improve the course of illness. Diagnostic delay, however, is a major impediment. Here, we present a pilot project aimed at assessing the feasibility of a screening program to identify children at high risk for NMDs within the first 30 months of life. The Promoting Early Diagnosis for Neuromuscular Disorders (PEDINE) project implemented a three-step sequential screening in an area of about 300,000 people with (1) an assessment of the motor development milestones to identify "red flags" for NMDs by primary care pediatricians (PCPs) as part of the routine Health Status Check visits; (2) for the children who screened positive, a community neuropsychiatric assessment, with further referral of suspected NMD cases to (3) a hospital-based specialized tertiary care center. In the first-year feasibility study, a total of 10,032 PCP visits were conducted, and twenty children (0.2% of the total Health Status Check visits) screened positive and were referred to the community neuropsychiatrist. Of these, four had elevated creatine kinase (CK) serum levels. This pilot study shows that screening for NMDs in primary care settings is feasible and allows children at high risk for muscular disorder to be promptly identified.

Improving Recognition of Treatable Rare Neuromuscular Disorders in Primary Care: A Pilot Feasibility Study

Ricci, Federica S;D'Alessandro, Rossella;Vacchetti, Martina;Salvalaggio, Anna;Spada, Marco;Davico, Chiara;Vitiello, Benedetto;Mongini, Tiziana E
2022-01-01

Abstract

Innovative targeted treatments for neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) can dramatically improve the course of illness. Diagnostic delay, however, is a major impediment. Here, we present a pilot project aimed at assessing the feasibility of a screening program to identify children at high risk for NMDs within the first 30 months of life. The Promoting Early Diagnosis for Neuromuscular Disorders (PEDINE) project implemented a three-step sequential screening in an area of about 300,000 people with (1) an assessment of the motor development milestones to identify "red flags" for NMDs by primary care pediatricians (PCPs) as part of the routine Health Status Check visits; (2) for the children who screened positive, a community neuropsychiatric assessment, with further referral of suspected NMD cases to (3) a hospital-based specialized tertiary care center. In the first-year feasibility study, a total of 10,032 PCP visits were conducted, and twenty children (0.2% of the total Health Status Check visits) screened positive and were referred to the community neuropsychiatrist. Of these, four had elevated creatine kinase (CK) serum levels. This pilot study shows that screening for NMDs in primary care settings is feasible and allows children at high risk for muscular disorder to be promptly identified.
2022
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7
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disease modifying treatments; early diagnosis; motor development milestones; neuromuscular disorders; primary care pediatricians; public health; screening
Ricci, Federica S; D'Alessandro, Rossella; Vacchetti, Martina; Salvalaggio, Anna; Somà, Alessandra; Daffunchio, Giorgia; Spada, Marco; Turra, Renato; Bobbio, Marisa; Ciuti, Alessandro; Davico, Chiara; Vitiello, Benedetto; Mongini, Tiziana E
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1885626
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