Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular condition causing weakness of the muscles. The gene for SMA is passed from parents to their children, but SMA can only affect a child if both parents carry a defective gene (this is called an autosomal recessive pattern). Genes come in pairs, one from each parent. If a person has one normal and one affected gene they do not show the symptoms of SMA but are carriers. If both genes are affected they will have SMA.
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign leads the search for treatments and cures for muscle-wasting conditions. We provide expert advice and support for individuals and families living with SMA, for carers and health professionals.
In this section you'll find the latest information about SMA and helpful resources.
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign supports families by:
- funding SMA research projects and providing regular information about research progress
- supporting the training and development of the next generation of scientists and funding clinical trials co-ordinators in the drive towards potential treatments
- working with, and providing training and education for, NHS-funded care advisors
- taking a leading role in driving NHS support for neuromuscular networks and spearheading campaigns to improve access and quality of specialist care
- offering advice and information and enabling people to overcome difficulties through our advocacy service
- providing grants towards specialist equipment to help people to live as independently as possible
- helping people to connect with each other through our local Muscle Groups, online via TalkMD, at conferences and events; and through Trailblazers, our national network of young disabled people.
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There is a role for everyone in the fight against muscle-wasting conditions. We are a small but strong community of people in the UK and we are determined to win this fight, together.
There are opportunities to get involved in a variety of ways, such as:
- enrolling in the SMA patient registry
- connecting with others affected by SMA
- being an advocate for our campaigning and media work
- sharing your story to inspire others
- establishing a family fund
- participating in fundraising events
We are currently supporting a research project into SMA at the University of Edinburgh, for which we are seeking to raise £99,968. You can help by making a donation.
Support and Information
We are here for you and your family. For more information about SMA or for support, contact our freephone support line or send us an email (Monday to Friday 8.30am - 6pm): 0800 652 6352 (freephone) firstname.lastname@example.org
Support is also available from the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Support UK website, or contact them on 01789 267520.
Beating muscle-wasting conditions such as SMA is a massive challenge requiring a collective effort, but with advances made in research over the last 20 years there has never been a better time to join us. Together, we can win the fight.
- Find a clinical trial See an overview of current clinical trials into muscle-wasting conditions in the UK and around the world
- Research we are funding See the current world-class pioneering research into potential treatments and cures that we are funding
- Publications Read our free publications including our expert factsheets about medical conditions and comprehensive guides on adapting your home
- Your stories Read about families and individuals who are affected by muscle-wasting conditions