Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a disease in which nerve cells that control muscles (motor neurons) in the spinal cord die, causing progressive weakness in the voluntary muscles. Recent research news includes advances in delivery methods for gene therapy treatment of SMA, and creation of a new mouse model that could help scientists better understand and develop treatments for the disease.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 44 new grants totaling $13.6 million to advance the understanding and treatment of neuromuscular diseases. The new grants, most of which took effect Feb. 1, encompass a range of diseases covered by MDA’s research program, and they support innovative approaches to basic research and new drug development.
In addition to addressing 16 specific neuromuscular diseases under MDA’s umbrella, the grants also fund research into muscular dystrophy in general, and research into muscle physiology related to neuromuscular disease.
John Manfredi, chief scientific officer at Sfida BioLogic in Salt Lake City, Utah, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $161,995 over a period of two years to study the potential of new compounds for treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The new grant complements previous MDA-funded research by Manfredi into potential therapeutics for SMA.
A one-hour, MDA-sponsored webinar features two physicians and the parent of a child with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) who has undergone bracing and surgery for a spinal curvature, as well as questions and answers from listeners.
Christine DiDonato, assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill., was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $405,000 over a period of three years to test treatment strategies for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
Gary Bassell, professor of cell biology and neurology at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga., was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $405,000 over a period of three years to discover new functions of the SMN protein in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).