Cure SMA Announces New $50,000 Care Research Grant to Rebecca Davis in the Lab of Dr. Swoboda at University of Utah

Cure SMA has awarded a $50,000 clinical care grant to Rebecca Hurst Davis in the lab of Dr. Kathy Swoboda, for her project focusing on blood sugar levels in SMA.

Children with SMA sometimes develop insulin resistance or glucose intolerance, meaning they cannot properly regulate their blood sugar. This project will measure how the blood sugar of individuals with SMA type II responds to fasting and to different types of foods.

Research Profile

Principal Investigator: Rebecca Hurst Davis, MS, RD, CSP, CD
Institution: University of Utah
Project Title: Blood glucose monitoring and diet of children with SMA type II


This study will further assess blood sugar in 12 children with SMA type II in their home environment. The specific aims are to:

  1. Monitor continuous blood sugar levels of children with SMA type II including participants from previous glucose study.
  2. Evaluate and determine the role diet (a typical and a low carbohydrate diet) plays in the corresponding continuously monitored blood sugar levels.

Research Strategy

Participants with SMA type II will have a continuous blood sugar monitor placed during clinical research visit. Once participants are back at home they will record everything they eat and drink for 4 days including time and amount. One day will include a low carbohydrate diet prepared in the home. At the beginning of the 5th day participants will remove the blood sugar monitor and mail data recorder back to the researchers.

Significance of the Project

This study is needed to further understand blood sugar responses to fasting and different types of foods in a larger number of people with SMA type II in the home environment. This information will be used to better understand what is happening clinically in our patients as well as to devise strategies for ways to treat patients who are insulin resistant/glucose intolerant.

Clinical Care Funding

This grant to Ms. Davis and Dr. Swoboda is part of $225,000 in clinical care funding that we’ll be announcing over the next few weeks. We fund clinical care research to understand the issues that affect daily life for people with SMA, from breathing to nutrition, and to improve their quality of life today. We’ll profile each of the researchers who’ve received a grant, and share how their work can benefit those affected by SMA.

Past Announcements

Dr. Nilesh Mehta

Dr. Walter Truong

Ms. Deborah Boroughs

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