Fast Five Quiz: Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Stephen L. Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD


January 14, 2021

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) refers to a group of hereditary diseases that damage and kill motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons control movement in the arms, legs, face, chest, throat and tongue, in addition to skeletal muscle activity, including speaking, walking, swallowing and breathing. In most cases, life expectancy is significantly reduced. Approximately 1 in 6000 to 1 in 10,000 individuals are affected by SMA, and 1 in 50 individuals is a genetic carrier for the disease.

Although a cure for SMA has yet to be discovered, interventions may improve quality of life and slow disease progression. How familiar are you with SMA? Test your knowledge with this quick quiz.


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