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Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe. It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants.

SMA is caused by a mutation in the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). In a healthy person, this gene produces a protein that is critical to the function of the nerves that control our muscles. Without it, those nerve cells cannot properly function and eventually die, leading to debilitating and sometimes fatal muscle weakness.

Individuals with SMA have difficulty performing the basic functions of life, like breathing and swallowing. However, SMA does not affect a person’s ability to think, learn, and build relationships with others.

There is wide variability in age of onset, symptoms, and rate of progression in the different forms of SMA.

Type 1

Age 0–6 months

Occurs between birth and 6 months, and babies with this type of SMA never learn to sit independently.

Type 2

6–18 months

Occurs between 6 and 18 months; these infants typically gain the ability to sit but not to stand.

Type 3

Above 18 months

Occurs in children 18 months or older; these children typically achieve the ability to stand and to walk.

Type 4


Occurs in the 20s or 30s after the individual has learned to walk independently.

Quotes of the Fighters.

sma patient meor amiruddin

Meor Amiruddin,34

(SMA Patient Type 3)

Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.

sma patient say leng

Ng Say Leng,41

(SMA Patient Type 2)

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.

sma patient siti safura

Siti Safura,37

(SMA Patient Type 2)

Great things need determination and sacrifice.

sma patient ikram zaki

Ikram Zaki,20

(SMA Patient Type 2)

It's always seems impossible until it's done.

sma patient miza marsya

Miza Marsya,22

(SMA Patient Type 2)

Don't be afraid to 'stand' out


If you have SMA or your children has SMA, please join us as your data will help people like us. Your data is shared with researchers to speed the development and therapies. Please Get involve today.

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Meet our Board of Trustees, who believes in our organisation's vision and lead SMAM's mission.

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We are only as strong as we are united. Volunteering the fight and together support SMAM events.

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