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Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

A genetic disease of the central nervous system (CNS).

Understanding Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Children with SMA have a deleted or mutated gene, resulting in the progressive loss of muscle strength and function.

There are many different types of SMA due to changes in the gene, which will dictate the age of onset and severity of weakness. SMA can be diagnosed at various ages and can greatly impact mobility.


Early treatment will prevent joint tightness and will allow for the child’s best standing and walking potential. Scoliosis can be prevented by aligning the spine with a back brace. Bracing should start as soon as the parent or doctor notices muscle weakness, stiffness, or poor joint alignment.

New medications available for children with SMA can change the progression of the disability. Because these new types of medicine can extend the life of a patient with SMA, it is more important than ever to treat any joint and muscle symptoms so that the patient can reach their highest potential.

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