As a healthcare professional, you are uniquely placed to spot whether a baby is developing as they should, whether this is at a routine check-up, or if parents or caregivers raise any concerns4
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Very early signs of SMA are typically seen up to 6 months of age,1,2 often by age 3 months.2,5
Early signs of SMA are typically seen up to 18 months of age,1 often by age 10 months;5
Download the SMA Signs Watchlist
Several SMA newborn screening pilots and national programs have been implemented worldwide, with the annual proportion of newborns to be screened in the coming years expected to increase steadily21
If you suspect SMA in your patient, remember loss of motor neurons is irreversible; every day matters18,22,23
SMA symptoms can overlap with other common infantile neuromuscular diseases (NMDs)24,25
NMDs typically manifest as; hypotonia, muscle weakness and areflexia24,25
Hypotonia is the most common reason for referral in children with NMDs25
SMA is one of the most common causes of hypotonia in infants26
NMDs affect multiple organ systems, and severe forms are debilitating and can affect life expectancy25
Common symptoms of NMD identified by parents:25
Delayed motor milestones
Feeding and respiratory difficulties
Abnormal gait characteristics
Common pediatric NMDs:24
Spinal muscular atrophy
Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Becker muscular dystrophy
Congenital muscular dystrophy
Myotonic dystrophy type 1
To distinguish between the different types of NMD and other conditions, genetic testing, alongside other tests and examinations, are key25
Download the differential diagnosis overview:
NMD, Neuromuscular disease.
This site is designed to help you learn about the early signs of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and what to do if you spot them
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