In SMA, a multidisciplinary approach is essential to
coordinate the different aspects of care.
Neurologists are often the first specialists to meet with individuals who have SMA.1
Respiratory physicians work closely with children with SMA who may have decreased respiratory function, underdeveloped lungs, and difficulty clearing secretions.1
Physiotherapists may recommend exercise and/or the use of orthotics and other rehabilitative equipment. These decisions may be based on the age of the individual with SMA, neuromuscular involvement, and developmental stage.2
Muscular weakness often leads to orthopaedic issues in individuals with SMA, resulting in skeletal misalignment and difficulty with movement, which may require intervention by an orthopaedist.1
Individuals with SMA may have difficulty eating due to weak swallowing muscles and poor head control, putting them at risk of aspiration and/or poor nutrition. These issues may require the guidance of a dietitian with experience in SMA.3
A dietitian may consult with other healthcare providers (e.g. gastroenterologists, surgeons, speech therapists) about short- and long-term management of feeding and pharmacological issues.
Parents/caregivers of people with SMA generally become experts in their child’s care, and are often active contributors to the decision-making process in the multidisciplinary care team.
The information above is based on opinions and experiences compiled from parents and caregivers of children with SMA and should not be relied on as an alternative to medical advice from a healthcare professional.