What Is Spinal Muscular Atrophy?
Approximately over 10,000 individuals live with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) today in the United States. This rare genetic condition affects one out of every 6,000 to 10,000 children.
What is SMA?
“Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a group of hereditary diseases that progressively destroys motor neurons—nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord that control essential skeletal muscle activity such as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing, leading to muscle weakness and atrophy. Motor neurons control movement in the arms, legs, chest, face, throat, and tongue. When there are disruptions in the signals between motor neurons and muscles, the muscles gradually weaken, begin wasting away and develop twitching (called fasciculations).” – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Individuals with SMA experience a more difficult time getting around from place to place, engaging in play as a young child, and depending on the type of SMA, utilize a wheelchair in their daily lives.
There are five types of SMA: Type 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. Some types of SMA, like Type 0, have symptoms beginning before birth. Other types, like Type 1, are the most common and are usually diagnosed within the first six months of life.
(chart taken from CURE SMA website, all attributes, and accreditations to CURE SMA)
How Team Select Cares for Individuals with SMA
Team Select Home Care offers Long-Term Pediatric and Adult Care services to care for your loved one. Your family can rest assured knowing our highly experienced clinical team is available 24/7 to help guide you and your loved one through whatever challenges you may face. Because we’re more than a home health care company, we’re a family.
With the help and care from our compassionate, experienced clinicians, individuals with SMA are able to live comfortably at home.
We also care for the following diagnosis (but not limited to):
- Cardiovascular Anomalies
- Respiratory Disorders
- Neuromuscular Disorders
- Congenital Anomalies
- Feeding Disorders
- Hematologic Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Neoplastic Diseases
- Traumatic Brain/Spinal Injuries
- Neurological Disorders
- Genetic Anomalies
- Quadriplegia/ Paraplegia
- Immunologic Disorders
- Premature Birth
We also offer Pediatric Therapy services in select locations for children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy who require Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy. These services can help to improve learning and developmental delays, difficulty feeding and swallowing, visual perception and visual motor skills, oral motor delays, and so much more.
What Resources Are Available for Families with SMA?
Families who have a loved one with Spinal Muscular Atrophy can receive helpful resources and information from nonprofit organizations, healthcare professionals, community members, and other families in a similar situation.
Organizations we encourage SMA families to be part of:
- CURE SMA
- Your Local Hospital’s Support Group
- The Unforgotten Families
If you are part of a local SMA group in your area, we encourage you to share the group in our comment section below to help other Spinal Muscular Atrophy families in need!
References and Resources