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August 17, 1963

Early Detection Minimizes Effects Of Developmental AnomaliesDetection programs may be symptomatic, total population screening, and high risk screening

JAMA. 1963;185(7):43. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060070015013

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Early detection is the keystone in any program to minimize effects of developmental anomalies, Dr. Robert E. Cooke, pediatrician-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital told physicians at the Conference on Congenital Malformations.

Other necessary steps, he said, are definitive diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Detection programs may be of three types:

  • Symptomatic, in which abnormalities usually are noted too late for successful treatment;

  • Total population screening, which usually is too costly in manpower and ineffective because of low yield and interest; and

  • High risk screening, in which selection of candidates for study is based on criteria assuring a high yield.

Clinical conditions correlated with congenital abberrations should alert the physician to make detailed and frequent evaluation, Cooke said.

In addition to such factors as the presence of mutant genes and central nervous system disorders, a high rate of allergy in a family may be a danger signal. In the

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