The non-profit organization Cure SMA is praising families that donate human tissue from their deceased relatives who suffered from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), as the donations are crucial for a research program assessing the damage caused by SMA to the nervous systems of patients.
The research is dedicated to increasing knowledge about one of the greatest mysteries in SMA: the reason behind the low levels of the SMN protein in patients who suffer from the disease, which is responsible for damage to motor neurons. The donated tissue will help researchers investigate neuron cell bodies in the spinal cord and the correlation between axon and muscle fibers.
Donated tissues, which will be added to by materials donated from Kathryn Swoboda at Massachusetts General Hospital, will be supplied to an academic research center as well as industrial investigation centers all over the world, according to an announcement from the organization. This way, project investigator Dr. Swoboda, who works in collaboration with several other physicians, can use the new resource to assess SMA’s pathology, which differs in level, manifestation and resistance.
This is the first time that such a project is being implemented, and its value is supported by Cure SMA given the importance of investigating the causes and pathological mechanisms of the disease, as well as novel SMA treatments and other therapeutic opportunities.
The collaborative project, which is being led by Drs. Sumner and Crawford from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-funded by the SMA Foundation and Cure SMA, has already improved current research methods by making the investigational process more sophisticated.
Not only does the project involve everyone willing to participate such as patients, families and friends living with SMA, it also involves a large amount of researchers committed to finding more effective treatments and a cure for the disease. Therefore, Cure SMA is dedicated to supporting the collaborative project hoping that the community can also understand the importance of contributing by donating tissue.