Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month – August 2022

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month takes place in August each year. It is a hereditary neurological illness that inhibits voluntary muscle action, leading to gradual muscular weakness and atrophy; thus, to increase awareness and support for people dealing with the illness, we commemorate Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month.

Spinal muscular atrophy is a congenital condition in which the spinal cord does not form normally. This neural tube develops into the baby’s brain, spinal cord, and the tissues that surround it. Spinal muscular atrophy does not cause any impairments and does not manifest until later in life.

History of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

Spinal muscular atrophy (S.M.A.) is a rare neuromuscular condition that causes motor neuron loss and gradual muscle wastage. It is typically identified in infancy or early childhood, and if ignored, it is the leading hereditary cause of infant death. It may sometimes occur later in life, resulting in a milder version of the disease.

Spinal muscular atrophy is a motor nerve disease characterized by the wasting away of nerve cells in the spinal cord known as motor neurons. The main genetic cause of death in babies under the age of two is spinal muscular atrophy, with its most prevalent feature being gradual paralysis of voluntary muscles, and the arm, leg, and especially respiratory muscles being the first to be affected. Poor head control, swallowing difficulties, scoliosis, and joint contractures are all possible complications.

All levels of S.M.A. necessitate varying degrees of treatment, which usually entails a combination of prescription, technology, and psychotherapy. The good news is that with proper treatment and physical therapy, many children and adults with S.M.A. can live full, productive lives.

The purpose of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month is to demonstrate our support through local and national activities, promote awareness, educate people, raise funds for additional research, and aid in the hunt for a cure. It’s intended that this month-long awareness campaign, and others like it in the future, would recognize every one of those whose lives are affected by S.M.A. and bring about future change.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month timeline

1891
The First Case is Discovered

Guido Werdnig discovers spinal muscular atrophy in two baby brothers.

1899
The First Severe Case

Sylvestre becomes the first to describe severe infantile S.M.A.

2009
Tethering of the Vertebral Body

Surgeons start using the vertebral body for surgery.

2011
Scoliosis Research

People who wear the scoliosis bodysuit are subjected to research.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month FAQs

Is S.M.A. harmful to the brain?

If your child has S.M.A., the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord break down. The brain ceases to send signals that control muscle action. When this happens, the child’s muscles weaken and shrink, and children may struggle to control head movement, sit without assistance, and even walk.

How long can one live with S.M.A.?

Patients suffering from spinal muscular atrophy Type 1 have a life expectancy of fewer than two years. Recently, the development of proactive therapy has resulted in prolonged survival and an improved survival rate.

What are the symptoms of spinal muscular atrophy?

Restricted mobility, eating and swallowing difficulties, breathing difficulties, cross motor skills delay, and scoliosis (curvature of the spine).

How to Observe Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

  1. Make a charitable contribution

    Numerous advances have been achieved in the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy. There is, however, always a need for more tools and resources when it comes to spinal muscular atrophy. So, donate to the cause.

  2. Participate in social activities

    Social media is a good place to acquaint yourself with individuals most affected by spinal muscular atrophy. From hearing victims share their experiences, you gain valuable knowledge.

  3. Light a candle

    You can light a candle to remember those who have died from S.M.A. You can also support those who are currently fighting the disease.

5 Facts About Spinal Muscular Atrophy You Need To Know

  1. Genetics

    If both you and your spouse carry the gene, your child has a one in four chance of developing S.M.A.

  2. Cure

    While there is presently no cure for S.M.A., the National Institute of Health is optimistic that one will be discovered soon.

  3. Rate of survival

    Children with Type 2 and Type 3 diabetes have a reasonable chance of survival, although the majority will use a wheelchair from infancy onward.

  4. Infant mortality

    S.M.A. is the hereditary condition with the highest rate of infant mortality.

  5. Scary numbers

    Every seven hours, somewhere in the globe, someone is born with S.M.A.

Why Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month is Important

  1. Offering support

    Spinal muscular atrophy has a significant emotional and financial impact on families. Medical costs for children with spinal muscular atrophy are thirteen times higher than for children without the condition. Anything we can do to alleviate the burden is vital to make life a bit easier for them.

  2. Finding a solution

    There is presently no cure for spinal muscular atrophy; scientists are working hard to find one. As of today, the issue can be mitigated and managed, but the more we give attention to it and fund research, the closer we will be to finding a cure.

  3. It raises awareness for spinal conditions

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month assists people who have spinal deformities and do not know where or how to seek suitable treatment. It brings valuable information about spinal muscular atrophy to those who really need it.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2022August 1Monday
2023August 1Tuesday
2024August 1Thursday
2025August 1Friday
2026August 1Saturday
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