spinal muscular atrophy

07/16/2012 - 16:31

A team of University of Missouri researchers has found that introducing a missing gene into the central nervous system could help extend the lives of patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) – the leading genetic cause of infantile death in the world.

04/12/2012 - 09:00

An abnormally low level of a protein in certain nerve cells is linked to movement problems that characterize the deadly childhood disorder spinal muscular atrophy, new research in animals suggests. Spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, is caused when a child’s motor neurons – nerve cells that send signals from the spinal cord to muscles – produce insufficient amounts of what is called survival motor neuron protein, or SMN. This causes motor neurons to die, leading to muscle weakness and the inability to move.

10/12/2011 - 15:01

The disease is heartbreaking. It turns babies into ragdolls and extinguishes lives just as they are getting started. But one USC scientist is working to unravel the mystery behind the leading genetic cause of infant mortality, uncovering how Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) disconnects muscles from the mind.