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Spinal muscular atrophy - clinical spectrum and therapy.

08:00 EDT 1st September 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Spinal muscular atrophy - clinical spectrum and therapy."

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a progressive autosomal recessive motor neuron disease with an incidence of 1:10,000 live births, caused by loss of the survival motor neuron 1 gene (SMN1), and represents the most frequent neurodegenerative disorder in children. With greater understanding of the molecular basis of SMA in the past two decades, a major focus of therapeutic developments has been on increasing the fulllength SMN protein by increasing the inclusion of exon 7 in SMN2 transcripts, enhancing SMN2 gene expression, stabilizing the SMN protein or replacing the SMN1 gene. Although the SMA research field is rapidly expanding with new therapeutic opportunities, there are still several issues that remain unsolved. The timing of an optimal intervention is not clear, in particular the point at which there is irreversible pathology precluding any meaningful therapeutic response. Early diagnosis will be crucial for therapeutic success; presumably, the clinical outcome will be much better if treatment already starts presymptomatically. Therefore, presymptomatic diagnosis of SMA via a nationwide genetic newborn screening will be key for an efficient therapy prior to motor neuron death.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie
ISSN: 1439-3522
Pages: 543-550

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A group of disorders marked by progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord resulting in weakness and muscular atrophy, usually without evidence of injury to the corticospinal tracts. Diseases in this category include Werdnig-Hoffmann disease and later onset SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHIES OF CHILDHOOD, most of which are hereditary. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)

An X-linked recessive form of spinal muscular atrophy. It is due to a mutation of the gene encoding the ANDROGEN RECEPTOR.

Diseases characterized by a selective degeneration of the motor neurons of the spinal cord, brainstem, or motor cortex. Clinical subtypes are distinguished by the major site of degeneration. In AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS there is involvement of upper, lower, and brainstem motor neurons. In progressive muscular atrophy and related syndromes (see MUSCULAR ATROPHY, SPINAL) the motor neurons in the spinal cord are primarily affected. With progressive bulbar palsy (BULBAR PALSY, PROGRESSIVE), the initial degeneration occurs in the brainstem. In primary lateral sclerosis, the cortical neurons are affected in isolation. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)

Disorders characterized by an abnormal reduction in muscle volume due to a decrease in the size or number of muscle fibers. Atrophy may result from diseases intrinsic to muscle tissue (e.g., MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY) or secondary to PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES that impair innervation to muscle tissue (e.g., MUSCULAR ATROPHY, SPINAL).

Longitudinal cavities in the spinal cord, most often in the cervical region, which may extend for multiple spinal levels. The cavities are lined by dense, gliogenous tissue and may be associated with SPINAL CORD NEOPLASMS; spinal cord traumatic injuries; and vascular malformations. Syringomyelia is marked clinically by pain and PARESTHESIA, muscular atrophy of the hands, and analgesia with thermoanesthesia of the hands and arms, but with the tactile sense preserved (sensory dissociation). Lower extremity spasticity and incontinence may also develop. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1269)

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