Spinal Muscular Atrophy Types 0 and 1

Author: Ian C. Langtree
Published: 2009/04/05 - Updated: 2023/02/01
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: Spinal muscular atrophy types belong to hereditary diseases that cause weakness and wasting of voluntary muscles in the arms and legs of children. The disorders are caused by an abnormal or missing gene known as the survival motor neuron gene (SMN1), which is responsible for producing a protein essential to motor neurons. Symptoms include floppy limbs and trunk, feeble movements of the arms and legs, swallowing difficulties, a weak sucking reflex, and impaired breathing. Legs tend to be worse than arms.

Main Digest

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) belongs to a group of hereditary diseases that cause weakness and wasting of the voluntary muscles in the arms and legs of infants and children.

The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) has included Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) - Types 0 And 1 as a Compassionate Allowance to expedite a disability claim.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Types 0 and 1 Alternate Names:

The disorders are caused by an abnormal or missing gene known as the survival motor neuron gene (SMN1), which produces a protein essential to motor neurons. Without this protein, lower motor neurons in the spinal cord degenerate and die.

The type of SMA is determined by the age of onset and the severity of symptoms.

Symptoms include floppy limbs and trunk, feeble movements of the arms and legs, swallowing difficulties, a weak sucking reflex, and impaired breathing. Legs tend to be more impaired than arms.

The clinical evaluation includes a history and physical examination.

The history may reveal abnormalities during the pregnancy, especially with the onset of fetal movements, or may reveal another affected family member. The history should define the onset of the disease and its progression.

The physical examination reveals the weakness, hypotonia, absent reflexes, and muscle fasciculation in an alert infant. It may reveal contractures, muscle atrophy, labored breathing with accessory muscles, and malnutrition. Molecular testing of the SMN1 gene is needed for confirmation of diagnosis. Carrier status must be defined before a prenatal diagnosis is attempted.

There is no cure for SMA. There is no treatment for the progressive weakness caused by the disease. Treatment consists of managing the symptoms and preventing complications. Individuals with SMA Type 0 or 1 require little, if any, involvement of an orthopedist due to their short life span.

Supportive care is important. When nutrition/feeding becomes concerned, tube feeding via nasogastric tube or gastrostomy may be offered. Attention must be paid to the respiratory system because affected people have difficulty clearing secretions. Respiratory complications are common.

The prognosis is poor for infants with SMA Types 0 and 1. SMA Type 0 infants never achieve motor milestones and usually die between 2-6 months of age.

SMA type 1 child fare slightly better in that they may achieve sitting with support only and survive to 2 years or less without respiratory assistance. SMA 1 children may survive longer if offered non-invasive respiratory support (NIPPV or tracheotomy).

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Cite This Page (APA): Langtree, I. C. (2009, April 5). Spinal Muscular Atrophy Types 0 and 1. Disabled World. Retrieved April 15, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/spinal-muscular-atrophy.php

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