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Spinal Muscular Atrophy

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         Spinal Muscular Atrophy / Houston

 

spinal muscular atrophy houston back pain

spinal muscular atrophy houston back pain

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a serious genetic condition in which the function of motor neurons is compromised, severely limiting a patient’s ability to move voluntary muscles. Normally, motor neurons act as communication devices, enabling voluntary muscles—such as the ones in a person’s legs, arms, stomach, and throat—to move. In a patient with spinal muscular atrophy, these motor neurons are attacked and begin to die off. Though SMA can be genetically inherited, there are many different types of the disease and symptoms can vary widely. Some children may have their breathing affected and have a very short life expectancy, while others may live a relatively normal life. If a patient’s spinal muscular atrophy affects their breathing, treatment becomes more difficult and the patient is overall significantly less likely to survive. SMA’s main classifications are focused on when a patient’s symptoms appear as well as how severely they affect daily life. Acute infantile and chronic infantile spinal muscular atrophy are usually the most serious, as muscles never get a chance to develop properly before motor neurons begin to die. Physicians are also unable to communicate properly with very young patients, making adjustments in the course of treatment much more difficult. Other major classifications include chronic juvenile SMA and adult onset SMA. Generally, the severity of SMA’s symptoms worsens the earlier it manifests in the developmental cycle. At this point, a cure for spinal muscular atrophy is beyond the reaches of medical science. Genetic counseling may prevent a possible solution, given that SMA is normally inherited through a recessive gene from the mother and father both. Though a cure for manifested SMA is currently not possible, there is a wide support network available for both patients and families. Specialized physical therapy regimens, training in first aid, and emotional therapy support groups all exist to help families overcome the difficulties of SMA patients’ daily lives. The physical therapy regimens are especially important, as they help patients maintain control and development of the muscles they are still able to use.

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