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Spinal Muscular Atrophy - Type 2

SMA type 2/Dubowitz disease. Children diagnosed with SMA type 2 present with signs of weakness between the ages of 6 and 18 months. These  children cannot stand or walk independently but are able to maintain a sitting position for at least some time in their life. [3] 

Survival probabilities at ages 2, 4, 10 and 20 are 100, 100, 98 and 
78% respectively. Respiratory infections account for most deaths. [2] 

Children with type 2 SMA experience similar medical issues as type 1 
but much milder. Although some degree of respiratory insufficiency is present, the breathing problems are nowhere as life threatening as someone's with SMA type 1. Feeding problems are less common and risk of aspiration is lower. [4] Still, children with type SMA require close monitoring of their respiratory status. Inability to take deep breaths and produce strong enough cough to clear secretions can lead to low oxygen levels and build up of carbon dioxide . If carbon dioxide levels are abnormally high, a child may become sleepy and less functional during daytime. 

SMA type 2 patients often suffer from musculoskeletal deformities. 
They require physical therapy and braces or splints to prevent contracture a of the joints. Scoliosis is another serious complication, and if left untreated, can make breathing even harder. [4]


3. SMA. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from
4. Robert T. Leshner. Retrieved from
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