SMA is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord and impacts the muscles used for activities such as breathing, eating, crawling, and walking.
About Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by a mutation in the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). In a healthy person, this gene produces a protein that is critical to the function of the nerves that control our muscles. Individuals with SMA don’t produce survival motor neuron (SMN) protein at high enough levels. Without this protein, those nerve cells cannot properly function and eventually die, leading to debilitating and sometimes fatal muscle weakness.
SMA affects approximately 1 in 11,000 births in the U.S., and about 1 in every 50 Americans is a genetic carrier. SMA can affect any race or gender.
There are four primary types of SMA—1, 2, 3, and 4—based on the age that symptoms begin and highest physical milestone achieved.
Individuals with SMA have difficulty performing the basic functions of life, like breathing and swallowing. However, SMA does not affect a person’s ability to think, learn, and build relationships with others.
Does your child show signs of a motor delays? Developmental delays can be early signs of a serious medical condition. Always trust your instincts. If something about your child’s development doesn’t feel quite right, don’t delay. Cure SMA created the SMArt Moves campaign to educate parents and healthcare providers about the signs of delayed milestones. With SMA, early diagnosis and early treatment is key.
Learn More About SMA
More Opportunities to Learn
- Identify strategies and/or methods to maintain respiratory health in patients with SMA.
- Learn strategies and/or methods to maintain motor function and mobility in patients with SMA.
- Recognize the therapeutic importance of maintaining optimal nutrition in patients with SMA.
Shared Stories of SMA Families: The Good, Bad, and In-between
- Hear patients and families talk about the impact SMA has on quality of life, challenges, and best practices.
*Check out more opportunities to learn here.