Four years ago, individuals with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) had no therapies that could slow the disease. Today, three disease-modifying drugs have approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and at least five more have begun clinical trials.
While much of the research on spinal muscular atrophy has focused on children, adults make up more than one-third of all SMA cases.
For decades, federal grants have provided critical support for research on the causes and potential cures for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), with ongoing funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the DoD.
With new drugs approved for treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, patients and caregivers of patients now have reason to measure progress and to assess quality of life.
Kanaan and Kari Merriken had never heard of spinal muscular atrophy until their son was diagnosed with the disease in 2010. At the time, Kanaan was a staff sergeant with the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning.