5 complications of Spinal muscular atrophy

By      29-Aug 2022       Reading Time: 4 Mins

5 complications of Spinal muscular atrophy

Spinal Muscle Atrophy is a condition that causes muscle weakness and destroys motor neurons which are a special type of cells in the spinal cord and brain. Motor neurons control movement in your arms, chest, face, tongue, throat, and legs. Spinal Muscular Atrophy may cause problems with Breathing, Moving, and Swallowing. They as well affect the child’s ability to crawl, sit up, and control head movement. However, severity may vary based on many conditions.

There are 5 types of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. These are based on symptoms that showed up.

  • Type 0 – This is the most severe type and is usually fatal. Type 0 is suffered before the child is born or shortly after the birth of a child.
  • Type 1 – Type 1 is an as well severe and common type of SMA. Type 1 can be diagnosed at birth up to 6 months of age. Serious breathing complications are faced by infants of this age. Due to the muscles that control severe breathing and sucking being severely affected, complications can include noisy breathing, a weak cry and pneumonia, and other chest infections. Type 1 SMA also leads to trouble in movement. Due to the limited movement fetuses have, infants may suffer from stiff muscles, tendons, and ligaments that aren’t elastic. Other complications like muscle twitching and curvature of the spine which makes it hard to sit and stand.
    Children may find difficulty eating because muscles control how they chew and swallow. Weak swallowing can cause choking and respiratory infection. This may also consume a lot of energy of children trying to feed and breathe themselves.
  • Type 2 – Type 2 is an intermediate form of SMA, with symptoms seen from 6 to 18 months of age; sometimes even earlier. In this form child can sit without help but is not able to stand or walk without assistance. Their breathing at night is too slow and too shallow which leads to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood, and causes fatigue.
  • Type 3 – The type 3 form of SMA generally begins 18 months ago or more. In this form, the child can walk without help but finds it difficult while running, climbing stairs, or getting up from a chair. This form includes other complications like Hand tremors, Scoliosis, and Respiratory infection.
  • Type 4 – The type 4 form of SMA is generally noticed after the age of 21. With Type, 4 people can walk but muscle weakness gets worse over time.

Over to You –
Spinal Muscular Atrophy treatment requires a collective approach by parents, doctors, and health care professionals to provide care and support in recovery.

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