Spinal-Bulbar Muscular Atrophy (SBMA)

SBMA — Albert La Spada

MDA awarded Albert La Spada, chief of the division of genetics in the department of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, $330,000 to study what causes nerve cells called motor neurons to die in spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) and other neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

SBMA — Maria Pennuto, Ph.D.

MDA has awarded a research grant totaling $330,000 over three years to Maria Pennuto at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova, Italy. The funds will help support Pennuto's continued studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA).

The mutation responsible for SBMA is in the gene for the androgen receptor protein.

SBMA — J. Paul Taylor, M.D., Ph.D.

J. Paul Taylor, associate member of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., has received an MDA research grant totaling $330,000 over three years. The funds will help support Taylor’s continued research into a number of possible therapeutic targets in spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA).

MDA Awards $13.7 Million in Research Grants

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 40 research grants totaling $13.7 million to advance the understanding of disease processes and uncover new strategies for treatments and cures of muscular dystrophy and the more than 40 other diseases in the Association's program.

The new grants were recommended by MDA's Scientific and Medical Advisory Committees and approved by MDA's Board of Directors at its July 2011 meeting.

NIH Studying Exercise in Men with SBMA

Update June 19, 2013:This study is nearing completion. However, enrollment is still open and additional participants are needed.

UPDATE: NIH Studying Exercise in Men with SBMA

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), is conducting a study to assess the safety and effectiveness of exercise in men with spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), also known as Kennedy disease.

The utility of exercise in this disease is uncertain.

Research Briefs: FA, MG, MM, MMD1, gene therapy

Edison drugs target FA, mitochondrial diseases

Spinal-Bulbar Muscular Atrophy


MDA leads the search for treatments and therapies for spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). The Association also provides comprehensive supports and expert clinical care for those living with SBMA.

In this section, you’ll find up-to-date information about spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy, as well as many helpful resources. This information has been compiled with input from researchers, physicians and people affected by the disease.