NIH News Advisory
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 26, 2000
Contact: Robert Bock
(301) 496-5133

News Briefing: Program to Diagnose Immune Disorder in Disadvantaged

News Briefing: Program to Diagnose Immune Disorder in Disadvantaged
Location: Room 2105 Rayburn U.S. House Office Building
Time: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 at 11:00 a.m.

Officials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will join with representatives of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation to describe a new effort to screen minority and economically disadvantaged children for an often-undiagnosed group of immune disorders in these populations.

The disorders, referred to collectively as Primary Immunodeficiency, involve 80 hereditary diseases that hinder the body's ability to fight infection. PI is estimated to affect thousands of Americans, many of whom are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, principally because there is no single group of symptoms by which the disorders can be easily recognized. PI can be particularly problematic in minority and uninsured populations, which often do not have access to regular health care services.

The effort, to be undertaken by researchers at the Jeffrey Modell Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, will seek to increase the detection of primary PI in a population of minority and economically disadvantaged children.

At the briefing, officials from the NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF) of New York, as well as other public and private agencies, will also launch a campaign to alert parents, patients, physicians and the general public to the warning signs for PI.

"In launching this campaign, we seek to inform both health care providers and parents about the warning signs of the disease," said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD, who will speak at the briefing. Also participating in the briefing will be:

Also available at the briefing will be copies of the "10 Warning Signs of PI" poster, a parent information kit, and a storybook for children.