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All about spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) causes of spinal muscular atrophy symptoms of spinal muscular atrophy diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy treatment for spinal muscular atrophy

What are the symptoms of spinal muscular atrophy?

Spinal muscular atrophy is sometimes difficult to diagnose, as symptoms can resemble other conditions or medical problems. Each child may experience symptoms differently. There are four types of spinal muscular atrophy based on

symptoms and age of onset. The child may have the following symptoms:

Type I (also called Werdnig-Hoffman) - This is the most severe type of SMA and may be present at birth. Infants have problems holding their head, sucking, feeding, swallowing, and typically move very little. The muscles of the chest are also affected. The motion of the tongue is described as having worm-like movements. Death results usually by the age of 2 to 3 years from breathing problems.

Type II (intermediate form) - This form of SMA is seen in children from 6 months to 2 years of age. They typically have generalized muscle weakness and may require braces, walkers, or a wheelchair for assistance. Life-expectancy may extend to the 20s and 30s.

Type III (also called Wohlfart-Kugelberg-Welander) - This form of SMA affects children between 3 and 17 years of age. These children show signs of clumsiness, difficulty walking, mild muscle weakness, and may be developmentally delayed. These children live long into their adult years.

Type IV - This form of SMA affects adults in their 30s and 40s, resulting in a walking disability.

The symptoms of spinal muscular atrophy may resemble other problems or medical conditions. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.


More information on spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

What's spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)? - Spinal muscular atrophy is a degenerative problem that affects the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in muscle wasting and weakness.
What causes spinal muscular atrophy? - Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) that is caused by a deletion of the SMN gene on chromosome 5 is an inherited progressive neuromuscular disorder.
What are the symptoms of spinal muscular atrophy? - Spinal muscular atrophy is sometimes difficult to diagnose, as symptoms can resemble other conditions or medical problems.
How is spinal muscular atrophy diagnosed? - The diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy is made after the sudden or gradual onset of specific symptoms and after diagnostic testing.
What's the treatment for spinal muscular atrophy? - The goal of treatment of spinal muscular atrophy is to prevent respiratory problems and provide adequate nutritional care to the child.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005