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may cause seizures, poor muscle control, immune system impairment, hearing loss, mental retardation, coma, and even death. If the deficiency is detected in time, however, problems can be prevented by giving the baby extra biotin.

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia This group of disorders involves a deficiency of certain hormones produced by the adrenal gland that can affect genital development and may cause a fatal loss of salt from the kidneys. Lifelong supplementation of the missing hormones controls the condition.

Maple syrup urine disease Babies with this inborn error of metabolism lack an enzyme needed to process three amino acids essential for the body's normal growth. When these amino acids are not processed properly, they can build up in the body, causing urine to smell like maple syrup or sweet, burnt sugar. These babies usually have little appetite and are extremely irritable. If not detected and treated early, this condition can lead to mental retardation, physical disability, and death. A carefully controlled diet that eliminates certain highprotein foods containing those amino acids can prevent complications.

Homocystinuria This metabolic disorder is caused by a deficiency of one of several enzymes needed by the brain for normal development. If untreated, it can lead to dislocated lenses of the eyes, mental retardation, skeletal abnormalities, and abnormal blood clotting. However, a special diet combined with dietary supplements may help prevent most of these problems.

Tyrosinemia Babies with this disorder have trouble processing the amino acid tyrosine, which builds up in the body, causing mild retardation, language problems, liver problems, and death from liver failure. A special diet, or even a liver transplant, may be needed to treat the condition.

Cystic fibrosis An inherited disorder that causes cells to release a thick mucus that can lead to chronic respiratory disease, problems with digestion, and poor growth. There is no known cure; treatment is focused on preventing the associated serious lung infections and providing adequate nutrition. Detecting the disease early may help doctors reduce the lung and nutritional problems associated with cystic fibrosis, but the real impact of newborn screening is yet to be determined.

Toxoplasmosis This parasitic infection is transmitted through a mother's placenta to an unborn child, where it can invade the brain, eye, and muscles, causing blindness and mental retardation.

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