Spinal muscular atrophy legislation, “The SMA Treatment Acceleration Act”, will soon be introduced in both the U.S House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
What is spinal muscular atrophy?
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive (meaning the disorder is inherited by receiving one gene from both mother and father) neuromuscluar disorder that affects motor neurons of the spinal cord and brainstem. Motor neurons are responsible for supplying electrical and chemical messages to muscle cells. Without proper input from motor neurons, muscle cells don’t function properly and become much smaller (atrophy), producing symptoms of muscle weakness and affecting the ability to swallow, breath and move limbs.