Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
What is Spinal Muscular Atrophy?
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a
genetic disorder that affects the control of muscle movement. It is
caused by a loss of anterior horn cells (spinal motor neurons).
Messages from the nerve cells in the brain (called upper motor
neurons) are transmitted to nerve cells in the brain stem and
spinal cord (called lower motor neurons) and from them to specific
muscles. Upper motor neurons instruct the lower motor neurons to
produce movements in the arms, legs, chest, face, throat and
tongue. This loss of spinal motor neurons means that there is a
lack of nerve signal from the spinal motor neurons to bunches of
muscle fibres. Having no nerve signal causes these groups of muscle
fibres to waste away (atrophy) which leads to weakness of muscles
used for activities such as crawling, walking, sitting up, and
controlling head movement. For more information about
Spinal muscular atrophy click
Click here to be taken
to the vaccination page.
Check out the support groups page to see what is
available in your area.
USA - www.smafoundation.org
Families of SMA USA - www.fsma.org/
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Research News - www.spinalmuscularatrophy.info/
THIS PAGE WAS REVIEWED 22 FEB 2016