Recommendations were made in view of the following facts: (1) the need for further information on the mechanisms involved in the phenotypic expressions of phenylketonuria; (2) the present lack of adequate data on the effectiveness of the Guthrie Inhibition Assay, in terms of number of cases which may be missed, factors making for positive determinations and providing other information on which to evaluate the appropriateness of the large-scale screening program proposed; (3) the undesirability of deploying inordinate resources in the evaluation of the Guthrie Inhibition Assay to the detriment of the needs of other areas of child health including phenylketonuria; (4) the indications that a multi-faceted approach to phenylketonuria would be productive, not only in resolving the problems involving this disorder but also as a model for the investigation of and application to the treatment of other genetic diseases; (5) the possibility that the Guthrie Inhibition Assay could be a useful tool in the early detection, treatment and investigation of phenylketonuria; and (6) the fact that other state health departments are participating in the Guthrie Field Trials, indicating that the California State Department of Public Health should apply its resources to a more intensive study of PKU and detection methods.
The consultants made the following recommendations, through resolution, to the California State Department of Public Health. It was resolved that:
1. The State of California not be responsible at this time for initiating or recommending that the Guthrie procedure be accomplished on a state-wide basis in all newborn nurseries (one dissent).
2. The State of California initiate and coordinate the development of pilot studies in selected hospitals and medical centers throughout the State in the investigation of phenylketonuria, utilizing the Guthrie Inhibition Assay or other tests.
3. A scientific committee be appointed immediately as an advisory committee to the State Department of Public Health to develop recommendations for carrying out the suggested investigations.
4. A registry for phenylketonuria and other diseases (as listed in the recommendations by the Subcommittee on Human Genetics) be established within the framework of the State organization.