Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

MDA 2012 Conference Report: Genetics and Immunology Update

More than 500 physicians, allied health care professionals and MDA staff attended the MDA's 2012 Clinical Conference in Las Vegas, March 4-7.

The program emphasized:

SMA Research Briefs: Antisense and Fasudil

Below are highlights of two recent studies in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease in which the nerve cells that control muscles (motor neurons) in the spinal cord die, causing progressive weakness in the voluntary muscles.

Under the Sea

Destiny has been drawing since age 3.  She has served as a local Goodwill Ambassador for several years.  Her hobbies include fishing, reading and swimming.

Destiny Sanchez


Pineville, LA
Full name: 
Destiny Sanchez
Destiny Sanchez
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Sunset at Camp Marie

Mathew’s artwork depicts a sunset at Camp Marie in Leonardtown, Maryland, home of the local MDA summer camp.  Mathew’s hobbies included music and writing poetry.  He collaborated over the Internet with a writer from Wisconsin and together they published a work of poetry called “The Move.”


Russell created his painting at age 15 at an MDA-sponsored children's art workshop.  While a student at Lackland Air Force Base High School, he enjoyed playing junior varsity basketball.


Kenneth created artwork for more than 25 years.  He taped his paintbrush to his fingers and developed a unique method of painting.  Kenneth used Velcro and clamps to hold his paper or canvas onto a lazy Susan which then turned as he painted.

Entrepreneur with SMA Starts Accessible Car Company

Stacy Zoern has entered yet a new phase in her already eventful life — this time at 25 miles per hour.

SMA Gene Associated with Sporadic ALS

Duplications (extra copies) of the SMN1 gene are a "major" risk factor for developing sporadic (noninherited) ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a team of scientists based in the Netherlands and United Kingdom has reported.

MDA Commits $12 Million to Neuromuscular Disease Research

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 38 new grants totaling more than $12 million to fund research projects focused on its continuing mission to uncover the causes of, and develop therapies for, the more than 40 neuromuscular diseases in its program.

MDA's Board of Directors reviewed and approved the new grants based on recommendations from the Association's Scientific and Medical Advisory Committees, and the grants took effect Feb. 1.