What can be done to optimize treatment outcomes for spinal muscle atrophy (SMA)?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Ashish S Ranade, MBBS, MS, MRCS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey A Goldstein, MD  more...
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Answer

No two children with spinal muscle atrophy (SMA; also referred to as spinal muscular atrophy) will be exactly the same. Accordingly, treatment and care plans for each family should be tailored to meet specific individual needs.

It is also important to remember that the brains of children with SMA are not affected at all and that cognitive abilities therefore remain normal. Children with SMA are usually very intelligent, and they should be encouraged to participate in as many age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate activities as possible, with adaptations made whenever necessary. It is essential that children with SMA be assisted in reaching their utmost potential in school, at home, and in their communities.

Ideally, a team-based approach to care optimizes outcomes in these children. The team should consist of a neurologist, a pulmonologist/intensivist, an orthopedic surgeon, a nutritionist, genetic counselors, social workers, an orthoptist, and occupational and physical therapists.


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