Diagnosing Neuronatal Maladjustment Syndrome in Newborn and Young Foals

Tech ID: 24197 / UC Case 2013-191-0


Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a diagnostic test to identify excessive levels of neurosteroids in newborn and young foals.

Full Description

Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome (NMS) is a disorder with severe health consequences for newborn and young foals.NMS can significantly affect equine nervous, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal systems. Current diagnostic tools have limited ability to consistently and inexpensively detect blood and metabolic conditions in young horses that later develop NMS. Treatment protocols to address and mitigate NMS are frequently not initiated until the devastating, cumulative, effects of this syndrome in horses become irreversible. Thus, early detection could lead to more effective clinical interventions - resulting in a significantly improved quality of life from foal through adulthood.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method of testing for elevated hormone levels (primarily pregnenolone and related derivatives) – which are often present in newborn or young foals that later develop NMS. Once diagnosed, foals can be treated with one of more of neuroprotective agents, other IV fluids or other treatment protocols. Such treatments can significantly reduce or even reverse the impact of NMS in horses.


  • Testing for Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome in horses


  • Relatively inexpensive and rapid diagnostic test 
  • Provides opportunity to begin equine treatment interventions sooner intervention and treatment.  


Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,724,262 08/08/2017 2013-191
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,339,433 05/17/2016 2013-191


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  • Aleman, Monica R.
  • Madigan, John E.

Other Information


Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome, NMS, foal health, neurosteroids

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