What is SMA?
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. The “S” in SMA involves the loss of nerve cells called motor neurons in the spinal cord and is classified as a motor neuron disease. The “M” in SMA is muscular disease because its primary effect is on muscles, which don’t receive signals from nerve cells. The “A” in SMA is Atrophy, which is the medical term for getting smaller. This is what generally happens to muscles when they’re not active, which results in them wasting away.
What are the effects of SMA on daily life?
SMA can greatly affect quality of life. Some of the common symptoms are: overall muscle weakness, poor muscle tone, limpness or a tendency to flop, difficulty achieving developmental milestones, difficulty sitting/standing/walking. More serious symptoms include: loss of strength of the respiratory muscles resulting in: weak cry (infants), accumulation of secretions in the lungs or throat, respiratory distress, and other breathing problems. In extreme cases individuals cannot move or breathe on their own.
Where is the research on SMA?
There is currently no cure. Treatment consists of managing the symptoms and preventing complications. Research has focused on strategies to increase the body’s production of SMN protein, lacking in the chromosome 5-related forms of the disease. Approaches in this and other forms of SMA include methods to help motor neurons survive in adverse circumstances.
Why do we want to support the fight for a cure?
We want to support SMA research because it is not a widely unknown disease and it does not have a cure. We also want to support it because it personally affects one of our Liberty families at home who vigilantly fights for a cure everyday because it affects one of their family members.
Where can I learn more?
How can I get involved?
Donations can be made directly to the website. Liberty Discount Fuel is also a collection site. Please send donations to:
Liberty Discount Fuel
PO Box 727
Bartonsville, PA 18301
You can also participate in our annual fundraiser in support of SMA. Details to be announced in the upcoming months.