What is Spinal Muscular Atrophy?
Spinal muscular atrophy or call it SMA is nothing but a genetic disease, which affects certain portion of the nervous system that regulates the voluntary movement of muscles. A majority of never cells, which regulates the muscles, are located over the spinal cord
that accounts for the word spinal under the category of this disease. A majority of nerve cells, which manages the muscles, are found in the spinal cord that manages for the term spinal under this ailment. The SMA falls under muscular since it adds up the basic effects over the muscles, which fail to get the signals from the respective nerve cells. The atrophy can be called as a medical terminology for finding smaller muscles that are not active. The SMA simply involves the nerve cells loss known as motor neurons over the spinal cord generally divided like a motor neuron disease.
Symptoms of SMA
The symptoms of Spinal Muscular Atrophy can vary from one person to the other as per the diseases and other individual factors, which include the following:
- Areflexia during extremities
- Overall muscle weakness and poor muscle tone
- Difficulty in getting developmental milestones, difficulty in sitting, standing & walking
- Loss of strength over respiratory muscles bringing issues like weak cough, weak cry (for infants), and accumulation of secretions over
- throat, lungs and respiratory distress
- Bell-shaped torso
- Clenched fists having sweaty hands
- Titled Head to one side
- Fasciculations in the tongue
- Difficulty in sucking or swallowing and
- Weight loss
Testing and diagnosis for Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Diagnosis of SMA can be carried out before or during the pregnancy period. Both the partners have the risk of having this disease, hence it is always recommended to have the proper tests for the same in order to confirm the same. This will help in finding out the right course of action. Generally there are two tests carried out for diagnosing the Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which include chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis.
Neural Cell Transplants for Spinal Muscular Atrophy
The primary cause of Spinal Muscular Atrophy is often found severely mutated or missing gene often called as the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1), which help in producing the protein known as survival motor neuron. This is a protein, which is required for the human being in order to have the healthy kind of motor neurons or nerve cells, which act like the wires found in the spinal cord signals over the muscles via our human bodies. Without these SMN proteins, all our nerve cells will start the procedure of atrophy and at the end makes you free from the symptoms you face with the spinal muscular atrophy getting back your life as normal as before.
Stem Cell Treatment for SMA
- Patients suffering from the SMA are often seen ruining their conditions due to nerve cells. Hence the objective of the treatment comes in the form of regenerating the damaged nerve cells with the help of using stem cell transplantation. In order to carry out this process, you can find the stem cells being injected in a sufficient amount of quantity via the IVs and lumbar punctures simply to target those damaged areas.
Costs of Treating SMA With Stem Cells
Earlier the ailment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy with stem cells of tough to treat since not much was known to treat this condition. However, with latest medical sciences and studies, things have become easy for the treatment of SMA yet much has to be done in this area. This makes the treatment option very much costly for the patients suffering from the same. The cost for the treatment for SMA can toll to around 30,000 dollars, which is only due to the complex nature and other factors.
Related Topic about stem cell :