Robert Guthrie--The Pku Story: Crusade Against Mental Retardation

Robert Guthrie--The Pku Story: Crusade Against Mental Retardation

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by Jean Holt Koch
     
 

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All newborns in the U.S. and in many parts of the world now have a couple of drops of blood drawn from their heels in order to test them for PKU and a host of other genetic disorders that can cause mental retardation or premature death if not treated immediately. This is the biography of the man best known for his development of newborn screening for PKU. Yet this was

Overview

All newborns in the U.S. and in many parts of the world now have a couple of drops of blood drawn from their heels in order to test them for PKU and a host of other genetic disorders that can cause mental retardation or premature death if not treated immediately. This is the biography of the man best known for his development of newborn screening for PKU. Yet this was only one of his prodigious accomplishments. Tests were developed in Bob Guthrie's laboratory for more than 30 treatable disorders that cause mental retardation or death, giving the term "newborn screening" fresh meaning. He also waged a battle against lead poisoning long before the public or the medical community became concerned about this danger and was a member of the Physicians for Social Responsibility-an organization devoted to preventing nuclear war and o-posing nuclear weapons testing.

Editorial Reviews

L. G. Worthy Andrews College
Koch shares the warm story of a man dedicated to the prevention of mental retardation. Guthrie (1916-95), an MD with a PhD in bacteriology, developed an inexpensive diagnostic technique allowing newborn screening for phenylketonuria (PKU) to become universal. The importance of this technique became clear once researchers demonstrated that the destructive effects of PKU, including certain types of mental retardation, could be arrested by restricted protein consumption.
L.G. Worthy Andrews College
The analysis of dried blood samples collected on filter paper disks led to the early detection and treatment of a number of medical disorders in newborns, thus facilitating the prevention of devastating effects. Guthrie was willing to crusade for universal newborn screening on his own, but he also gained the support of caring practitioners around the world. His passion for promoting newborn screening was fueled by his son, a victim of untreated PKU. The son was born before PKU was identified.
R. Henderson
contributions: development of the collection of blood specimens as spots on filter paper for multiple testing, and his tireless efforts throughout the world in identifying etiological factors and promoting means of preventing mental retardation. Besides introducing the blood test for PKU, Galactosemia and other inborn metabolic errors, Bob was able to identify one of the major causes of lead poisoning in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940011984396
Publisher:
Hope Publishing House
Publication date:
12/29/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
File size:
145 KB

Meet the Author

Robert Guthrie was a remarkable man and Jean Koch has rendered the world a service in writing this account of his life. Guthrie's name will always be linked to phenylketonuria (PKU), the disease he did so much to conquer. PKU is a devastating condition producing profound mental retardation, behavioral abnormalities and, often, epilepsy as described so well by Jean Koch in her accounts. Affected children posed an almost insupportable problem for their parents and other family members-"posed" in the past tense partly because of the work of Bob Guthrie.

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Robert Guthrie - The PKU Story: Crusade Against Mental Retardation 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for everyone involved in newborn care. Should be required reading for mother child care, biology, health, and clinical lab science.