Improvements in the medical care of spinal muscular atrophy have increased survival across all SMA types1

Important advances in the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy over the last decade since 2007 include:1

  • Expansion of the use of non-invasive ventilation and cough machine support
  • Introduction of early spinal surgery
  • Greater emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to care
  • Advent of clinical trials and new drug approvals in spinal muscular atrophy

Survival in infantile-onset (Type I) spinal muscular atrophy has improved substantially3

TIME PERIOD

% OF PATIENTS
12-MONTH SURVIVAL

MEDIAN SURVIVAL
(months)

1980-1994

37%

7.5

1995-2006

79%

24


Adoption of comprehensive supportive care in infantile-onset (Type I) spinal muscular atrophy has increased3,8

SUPPORTIVE CARE

1980-1994
(% of patients receiving)

1995-2006
(% of patients receiving)

Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV)

31%

82%

Mechanical insufflation/exsufflation (MI-E)

8%

63%

Supplementary feeding

40%

78%

Spinal muscular atrophy is a neuromuscular disease that requires multidisciplinary medical care, and in some instances, a palliative approach1

OR

PROACTIVE CARE1,3

An approach to intensively manage the symptoms of the disease. For children with SMA, a proactive approach may include earlier placement of a feeding tube, intensive respiratory support (e.g. non-invasive ventilation and cough assist machines), early spinal surgery and regular sessions of physical therapy.

PALLIATIVE CARE1,4,5

An approach that aims to improve quality of life and relieve stress and discomfort. For children with SMA, the use of non-invasive ventilation may help avoid hospitalisation and the need for tracheostomy.

Adopting a proactive approach to care can influence the trajectory of disease progression and improve the natural history of spinal muscular atrophy.1

While some children receive multidisciplinary care from physicians in their community, others go to a neuromuscular disease centre specialising in SMA

Assembling a multidisciplinary care team in the community

While spinal muscular atrophy has a single genetic cause, its presentation, progression, and needs can vary widely.6,7

Clinical specialties involved in a child’s care team may vary based on individual needs, but can include1:

SMA Paediatric Neurologist

Paediatric Neurologist*

SMA Paediatric Pulmonologist

Paediatric Pulmonologist

SMA Physiotherapist

Physiotherapist

SMA Orthopaedic Surgeon

Orthopaedic Surgeon*

SMA Dietitian

Dietitian*

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Caregiver

Parent/Caregiver

Parents/caregivers of children with spinal muscular atrophy, like Dany and Terence S., generally become experts in their child’s care, and should also be considered a critical part of the multidisciplinary care approach.

For more information on the roles and responsibilities of those caring for children with SMA, click here.

Neuromuscular disease centres specialising in SMA offer expert, coordinated multidisciplinary care, but may not be accessible or practical for all children

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Care Team

A dedicated multidisciplinary care team is the emerging paradigm at these centres

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Centers

At some centres, centralised (shared) appointments allow families to see all necessary physicians on a single day at one facility

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Family

These centres provide care for the entire family, which may include genetic counselling and education

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Travel

These centres may provide assistance (e.g. parking, meals, lodging) for families travelling to the centre

*Actor portrayal.

The updated 2017 Consensus Statement for Standard of Care in Spinal Muscular Atrophy reflects new data and important advances in the management of SMA.1,2

Access Mercuri et al, Neuromuscul Disord 2018

Access Finkel et al, Neuromuscul Disord 2018