There is no cure for any form of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), but there are disease-modifying treatments that can substantially slow the disease’s progression. A number of supportive therapies also are available that can make navigating daily life with the disease more manageable for individuals with SMA type 2.
Without treatment, most children with type 2 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) are not able to walk, though they usually can sit up independently. Treatment can alter motor outcomes, and children with SMA type 2 who are treated early in life have been reported to gain the ability to walk, many within normal developmental windows.
By definition, people with SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) type 2 first start to experience symptoms before 18 months of age — accordingly, someone with adult-onset SMA would not be diagnosed with this subtype. Without treatment, individuals with SMA type 2 may survive into young adulthood, and disease-modifying therapies may potentially improve survival outcomes.
In the absence of treatment, most children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 2 will survive into early adulthood, but life expectancy is markedly shorter compared with that of the general population. Disease-modifying treatments have been shown in trials to improve survival outcomes, though since these therapies were only developed in the last decade, the long-term effects of treatment on life expectancy aren’t known.