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Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Types

key information

source: Nationwide Children’s Hospital

year: N/A


What is Spinal Muscular Atrophy?

Spinal muscular atrophies (SMA) are a group of genetic (passed down by parents) diseases that affect motor neurons (nerve cells) in the spinal cord, causing the weakening of voluntary muscles (muscles that you control). This may affect crawling, walking, swallowing, breathing, and other functions. Intellectual development is normal in SMA. In fact, those with SMA are often highly intellectual individuals.

Major Forms of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

There are three major types of SMA that affect infants and children:

·         SMA type I (Werdnig-Hoffman disease)

·         SMA type II

·         SMA type III (Kugelberg-Welander disease)


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