STEM CELL TREATMENT OF SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY (SMA)
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterized by degeneration of motor neurons, resulting in progressive muscular atrophy (wasting away) and weakness. The clinical spectrum of SMA ranges from early infant death to normal adult life with only mild weakness. The patient needs rehabilitation; by physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and clinical nutrition. Patients often require comprehensive medical care involving multiple disciplines. In all of its forms, the primary feature of SMA is muscle weakness, accompanied by atrophy of muscle. This is the result of denervation, or loss of the signal to contract, that is transmitted from the spinal cord. This is normally transmitted from motor neurons in the spinal cord to muscle via the motor neurons, axon, but either the motor neuron with its axon, or the axon itself, is lost in all forms of SMA.
SMA is caused by mutation of the SMN gene and has a wide range, from infancy to adult, fatal to trivial, with different affected individuals manifesting every shade of impairment between these two extremes. Many of the symptoms of SMA relate to secondary complications of muscle weakness. Scientists have developed the techniques to differentiate the Stem cells into the high purity motor neuron progenitor cells. These cells have ability to regenerate the new and healthy neurons after transplantation and may cure the disease.