Monday, February 28, 2011

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

My friend Marion's friend's nephew died today from SMA. He was only 6 months old.

This is a little about SMA.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a motor neuron disease. The motor neurons affect the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. It is a relatively common "rare disorder": approximately 1 in 6000 babies born are affected, and about 1 in 40 people are genetic carriers.

SMA affects muscles throughout the body, although the proximal muscles (those closest to the trunk of one’s body - i.e. shoulders, hips, and back) are often most severely affected. Weakness in the legs is generally greater than in the arms. Sometimes feeding and swallowing can be affected. Involvement of respiratory muscles (muscles involved in breathing and coughing) can lead to an increased tendency for pneumonia and other lung problems. Sensation and the ability to feel are not affected. Intellectual activity is normal and it is often observed that patients with SMA are unusually bright and sociable. Patients are generally grouped into one of four categories, based on certain key motor function milestones.


blueviolet said...

That is so terribly sad. I'm glad you explained what the disease involves here too. I didn't know about that particular one.

Anonymous said...

thank you soo much kimberly, that means soo much to me and my friend carolann and her familt

Anonymous said...

wow, I had no idea that someone so young could get SMA. Thanks for informing me. Im sorry for your friend's loss :(

LatteJunkie said...

Visiting from SITS...

I recently lost a student to metachromatic leukodystrophy. It's terribly sad.