Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Trainer with SMA Turns ‘Underdogs’ into Winners

From the moment Linzey Zoccola received her first service dog at age 16, she knew what she wanted to do with her life.

Zoccola has type 2 spinal muscular atrophy and has used a power chair since the age of 4. She has always been strongly independent, but having a service dog was a revelation.

Here was a creature that not only brought her joy and companionship, but also helped her perform tasks at home and school, achieve greater independence, and even smoothed her path socially.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Care Guidelines

The Family Guide to the Consensus Statement for Standard of Care in Spinal Muscular Atrophy was prepared by SMA Advocates for families affected by SMA. The full, 22-page text of the Consensus Statement was published in the August 2007 issue of the Journal of Child Neurology. Both are available as PDFs by following the links above.

Last Updated: 
Sat, 11/03/2007 - 14:34

MDA Awards $13.7 Million in Research Grants

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 40 research grants totaling $13.7 million to advance the understanding of disease processes and uncover new strategies for treatments and cures of muscular dystrophy and the more than 40 other diseases in the Association's program.

The new grants were recommended by MDA's Scientific and Medical Advisory Committees and approved by MDA's Board of Directors at its July 2011 meeting.

Summer at the Cape

Artist: 

Ronald was a self-taught artist whose artwork received numerous awards in area art fairs.  He was a former member of the Maine Governor’s Committee for Employment of People with Disabilities.  Ronald received the 1997 Maine MDA State Personal Achievement Award.

Sunset Dip

Artist: 

Luke served as MDA’s National Goodwill Ambassador in 2006 and 2007, and appeared with his family on the Telethon for three years.  In high school he was an honor student and a reporter for the school newspaper. Luke is majoring in communications studies at Furman University and is active in DECA and Kappa Alpha.  He is an Eagle Scout and continues to represent MDA as the National Youth Chairman.

Pause at Sandy Brook Pond

Artist: 

Ronald was a self-taught artist whose work received numerous awards in area art fairs. He artistically captured an early morning scene in Baxter State Park in northwestern Maine.  Ronald was a former member of the Maine Governor’s Committee for Employment of People with Disabilities.  He received the 1997 Maine MDA State Personal Achievement Award.

Living With

Dear Friends:

I’ve had symptoms of spinal muscular atrophy since I was a baby. When most children were beginning to walk, my parents noticed that my head would flop to the floor as I crawled.

Jerry Ferro

Read more ...

'Milk-Making' Molecule Lengthens Life Span in SMA Mice

The administration of a protein called prolactin has been shown to slow weight loss, improve motor function and increase life span by approximately 70 percent in mice with a disease resembling a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Prolactin is a hormone whose primary function is to promote milk production in women who are breastfeeding.

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