Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a degenerative disease with a genetic origin. Type 1 of SMA is further called Werdnig-Hoffmann, which is most known for being the most serious of the types. Symptoms begin to manifest from as early as the baby’s life inside his/her mothers womb. These symptoms might include low fetal movement, and in newborn babies it affects the lower horn cells to the muscles themselves. The main cause of death to these patients, most of which do not exceed the age of three, is the underdevelopment of the respiratory system. The proximal and distal muscle groups seem to be affected most causing the patient to lose the ability to sit upright without support and eventually the caving in of the sternum (nonsitters).
As well a these symptoms, the patients experience difficulties in sucking and swallowing. This then makes it difficult for feeding. It also evident that the legs tend to be weaker than the arms, chances of respiratory infections and secretions in the lungs and throat increase.