New Test Finds 580 Fatal Diseases Before Conception

New Test Finds 580 Fatal Diseases Before Conception

ABC | January 18, 2011 | By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES

Craig Benson thought his 5-year-old daughter just needed eye glasses when she complained about not being able to see the television set in 2008. But after consulting specialists, the family learned their beautiful daughter had a fatal neurodegenerative disorder — Batton disease.

“In an instant, a word we had never heard of changed everything,” said Benson, 48, and CEO of an Austin, Texas, biotech company. He and his wife Charlotte never knew they were carriers of the rare disease.

Christiane, now 8 and legally blind, faces a grim prognosis: seizures, memory loss and finally death by her late teens or early 20s. She is one of about 700 other Batton cases in the country.

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