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Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA is a collection of different muscle diseases It causes muscle damage and weakness and often leads to death SMA effects the spinal cord and brain stem It is a debilitating disease that affects people of all ages People affected with SMA have many symptoms Some of the most common include little muscle tone weak muscles and difficulty breathing Infants often have a floppy appearance Older children sometimes exhibit bad posture and nasally speech To diagnose SMA healthcare professionals will run a variety of tests Aldolase muscle biopsy and an MRI of the spine can all help detect SMA Even though diagnosis is possible there is no cure for SMA Physical therapy and special respiratory attention are given to patients to help treat symptoms SMA is an autosomal inherited condition Both parents must pass on the trait to their offspring as it is a recessive condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy affects and damages motor neurons It prevents important messages from reaching muscles SMA is classified into 4 types Types range from moderate to severe Type 1 or Werdnig- Hoffmans Disease is the most severe form It occurs in newborn infants or before birth Type 2 or Chromic Infantile SMA affects children between the ages of six to eighteen months This type can be moderate to severe Type 3 or Kugelberg- Welander Disease affects children from ages eighteen months up to early adolescence This is the mildest form found in children Type 4 is the adult form of SMA Symptoms do not appear until age thirty five and develop slowly Spinal Muscular Atrophy patients are put at risk for other diseases and conditions Pneumonia obesity scoliosis and kyphosis are common Patients must follow special diet guidelines to reduce their obesity risks Pneumonia must
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