Monday, January 21, 2008


5 months baby DEIRDRE V. MEDINA needs your help!
She has been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and needs to be taken to the United States for proper Non-Invasive treatment. The medical insurance does NOT cover any transfer or hospital expenses withing the US Mainland, so we need your help. The funding account is at Banco Popular of Puerto Rico, checking account # 041-473272

What is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (Werdning-Hoffman Disease)?

Werdnig Hoffmann disease is a type of spinal muscular atrophy. It is a rare, inherited progressive neuromuscular disorder of infancy characterized by degeneration of groups of nerve cells (motor nuclei) within the lowest region of the brain (lower brainstem) and certain motor neurons in the spinal cord (anterior horn cells). Motor neurons are nerve cells that transmit nerve impulses from the spinal cord or brain (central nervous system) to muscle or glandular tissue.

Approximately 80% of SMA falls into the severe category (SMA1). Infants with SMA1 experience severe weakness before 6 months of age, and the patient never achieves the ability to sit independently when placed. Muscle weakness, lack of motor development and poor muscle tone are the major clinical manifestations of SMA1. Infants with the gravest prognosis have problems sucking or swallowing. Some show abdominal breathing in the first few months of life. Muscle weakness occurs on both sides of the body and the ocular muscles are not affected. A twitching of the tongue is often seen. Intelligence is normal. Most affected children die before 2 years of age but survival may be dependent on the degree of respiratory function.

For infants who appear to develop normally during the first months of life, muscles of the pelvic, trunk, and shoulder areas may initially appear to be disproportionately affected. With disease progression, diminished muscle tone and weakness may gradually spread to affect almost all voluntary muscles, with the exception of certain muscles controlling movements of the eyes. Intelligence is NOT affected!

Infants with Werdnig Hoffmann disease may lack head control, may be unable to roll over or support their weight, and tend to lie relatively still, with little or no movement (flaccid paralysis). In addition, they may develop difficulties sucking, swallowing, and breathing; have an increased susceptibility to respiratory infections; or develop other complications that may lead to potentially life-threatening abnormalities within the first months or years of life. For infants who appear to have normal development for several months prior to the onset of muscle weakness, the disorder may tend to have a more slowly progressive course.

Werdnig Hoffmann disease is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. Molecular genetic testing has revealed that all types of autosomal recessive SMA are caused by mutations in the SMN (survival motor neuron) gene on chromosome 5. Deletion of the NAIP (neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein) gene that is close to the SMN gene is also associated with SMA. More patients with Werdnig Hoffman disease (SMA1) than other types of SMA have NAIP deletions. The relationship between specific mutations in the SMN gene and nearby genes and the severity of SMA is still being investigated so classification of SMA subdivisions is based on age of onset of symptoms as opposed to the genetic profile.

No comments: