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- Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a degenerative and incurable neuromuscular disorder that is caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron gene, SMN1, found on chromosome 5. It is the leading inherited cause of infant mortality. SMA carriers (those who have the genetic mutation but do not have the disease) are often unaware of their status until they are tested.
- Researchers have been studying the prevalence of SMA carriers in the general population, but most of the information collected has come from populations within the United States, Europe, and Asia. Very few studies have been performed in Africa. Furthermore, this information does not provide much information regarding carrier frequency based on ethnic background and ancestry. To address this problem, researchers are interested in studying the prevalence of the SMA genetic mutation in the sub-Saharan nation of Mali.
- To collect blood samples for use in studying genetic data related to spinal muscular atrophy.
- Healthy volunteers who are at least 18 years of age.
- Volunteers will be of Malian ancestry and nationality.
- Bamako, Mali, West Africa
- The study will first collect blood samples from a small group of volunteers to run initial SMA carrier testing and resolve any technical difficulties before continuing with the study.
- Participants will complete questionnaires about their personal and family medical history, including questions about illnesses, stillborns, and miscarriages, and then will provide blood samples for genetic research and testing.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive motor neuron disease that is caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron gene, SMN1. The objective of this study is to determine the SMN copy number distribution in the Malian population and to compare this to published data obtained elsewhere. It is anticipated that this study will help to refine the knowledge of SMA by assessing the distribution of SMN copy number, and the SMA carrier frequency in a sub-Saharan nation, thus expanding the information base available to clinicians and patients considering SMA carrier testing.
The study population will include 1400 adult (18 years of age and older) volunteers only.
Blood samples from volunteers will be collected from students at the School of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Dentistry (FMPOS) at the University of Bamako, which consists of an ethnically diverse population representative of the Malian ethnicities. No therapy will be provided to study participants.
Outcome measure for phase 1 is DNA extraction yield of sufficient quantity and quality for SMN genotyping by Genzyme in at least 90% of samples. Outcome measures for phase 2 are the frequency of SMA carriers (SMN1 deletion heterozygotes) and the SMN1 and SMN2 copy number distribution in Mali.
Time Perspective: Prospective
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
University of Bamako, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry (FMPOS)
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:16:15-0400
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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.
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).
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)
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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