SMA is the most common rare disorder of all the genetic diseases- yes, we realize how much of an oxymoron this is, but it's very important to note. Even though it is still classified as rare, 1 in 40 people are carriers of the gene that causes SMA. To put things in a better perspective, that 1 in 40 chance could be the person sitting next to you in a coffee shop or dozens of co-workers at your corporate job. SMA is a pan-ethic disease meaning it does not discriminate between race, gender, culture, etc. It could happen to anyone.
A neuromuscular disease that falls under the larger muscular dystrophy umbrella, SMA affects all voluntary movement involved with walking, crawling, breathing, swallowing, and so much more. There are four types of this disease (I, II, III, IV), and each type is determined based on milestones reached and onset of symptoms. The worst diagnosis is SMA type I. Unfortunately, this disease is the number one genetic killer in infants under the age of two.