Sunday, August 14, 2011

SMA Awareness Month

Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a group of inherited diseases that cause progressive muscle degeneration and weakness, eventually leading to death.  I was not aware how common this condition was until I started researching it.  I discovered that 4 out of every 100,000 people suffer from this condition.  This is the second leading cause of neuromuscular disease.  People who have Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) get it from a defective gene from both parents.

Those who have SMA usually are born with it, rarely does it develop later in life. 

Signs of SMA include:
  • Symptoms in an infant:
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Feeding difficulty
  • Floppy infant (poor muscle tone)
  • Lack of head control
  • Little spontaneous movement
  • Progressive weakness (older infant to toddler)
  • Very weak infant

Symptoms in a child:
  • Frequent, increasingly severe respiratory infections
  • Nasal speech
  • Worsening posture

There is no treatment or prevention at this time for SMA, and the prognosis is fatal. 

Ways to help:
Offer your support to families who are affected by SMA and visit this site to help where you can

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