A disease that is most common among babies and infants, the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic condition. The cure for this condition was found in 2016. The information, however, about the condition is limited and so is the information available for the doctors and physicians. Nusinersen is a medication that has shown to reduce the symptoms of SMA. The limitation of SMA information among physicians is a concern among parents of children with SMA. Following are a few treatment techniques that can provide the necessary SMA information for physicians:
Breathing– When encountered with SMA, especially type 1 and 2, weakness in the muscles can make it difficult for the children to breath properly. There are a few breathing exercises that can be followed in the initial stages of the condition. If the condition has worsened, the physician must ideally suggest the use of a special mask or a mouthpiece that can facilitate breathing. If this does not help either, the next step is to take help of a ventilator to promote breathing.
Swallowing and nutrition– As this condition has an impact on the muscle strength of the baby, they can have trouble sucking liquids or swallowing food. It is possible that the child will miss out on the nutrition that is necessary for its growth. In such a condition, it is important for the physician to be informed about SMA. It is ideal for physicians to suggest that the patient works with a nutritionist. In extreme cases, the physicians can also suggest the use of a food pipe.
Movement issues– SMA requires the physicians to have information on physical as well as occupational therapy. These therapies are common and use exercises that can help in protecting the child’s joints and muscles. If a physician has the right information on SMA, they will suggest leg braces, electric wheelchair, or a walker. A few other special tools can help the child operate computers and phones, as well as write and draw well.
Back problem– One of the largest complications associated with SMA is the inability to perform actions that include stressing muscles in the back or the movement of the spinal cord. The physicians must have adequate information on SMA-induced back problems. In a case when the SMA starts in childhood, patients can develop a curve in their spinal cord. The ideal remedy is to wear a back brace while the child is still is growing. This brace provides adequate support to the back and helps in reducing the curve developing in the spine.
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