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Because August is SMA awareness month, it’s time to shed light on this rare disease. Content creator/writer/journalist, Nadia Haitham, shared a message on her Instagram account raising awareness on this hereditary disease that is filled with positivity, strength, and acceptance.
Her video is inspiring to say the least and sheds light on what spinal muscular atrophy is, what the symptoms of SMA could be, and how it shouldn’t stop anyone from living their life to the fullest. In honor of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Month, watch the video below and find out everything you need to know about SMA:
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What is SMA?
Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a hereditary disease that impacts motor skills as it damages the nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord. This results in muscle weakness which can affect activities such as walking, speaking, swallowing, and even breathing.
Symptoms of SMA
One of the reasons why SMA is so difficult to cure is because the symptoms vary from one person to another. However, here are some of the symptoms that could occur to someone suffering from SMA:
- Weak arms and legs
- Mobility problems such as difficulty walking, crawling, or even sitting up
- Shaking and trembling
- Unusually curved spine or other bone and joint problems
- Swallowing problems
- Difficulty in breathing
Types of SMA
As Nadia mentioned in her video above, there are 4 types of SMA. While Type 1 is usually quite severe, Nadia mentions that a person suffering from the other 3 types of SMA can break through and live long, fulfilling lives.
The main types are:
- Type 1 – Develops in babies less than 6 months old
- Type 2 – Develops in babies aged 7 to 18 months old
- Type 3 – Develops after 18 months of age and is the least severe type affecting children
- Type 4 – Develops in adults and usually only causes mild problems
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