A simple fluorescent spot screening test has been developed for the identification of individuals with arginase deficiency (hyperargininemia). The assay is based on the coversion of arginine to ornithine and urea by arginase present in 1/8 inch disc of dried blood on filter paper. The enzyme activity is visually estimated by the oxidation of NAD-H to NAD+ in a coupled kinetic reaction. In the absence of the enzyme, there is no oxidation of the NAD-H and consequently no loss of fluorescence. The screening assay has been used to identify successfully both heterozygous and homozygous arginase-deficient crabeater macaques (M. fascicularis) as well as three patients with hyperargininemia. This test can be used to screen large numbers of patients with mental retardation or seizure disorders rapidly to determine the frequency of this disorder more precisely.