The UK NSC recommendation on Spinal Muscular Atrophy (currently under review)


This recommendation is currently being reviewed as part of the UK NSC's regular review cycle of all policies.

The review process began in Dec 2016 and is estimated to be completed by Apr 2019.

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Key downloads

Find general information about population health screening.

More about SMA

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease that causes muscle weakness and a progressive loss of movement. There are four types of SMA that vary in terms of the age those sufferers develop symptoms and also the severity of the symptoms they can have. There is no cure but therapy and support are available to help manage the condition.

SMA causes the motor neurones in a certain area of the spinal cord to deteriorate. This can result in progressive muscle wasting and loss of ability to move parts of the body. SMA is rare, with an estimated 5,500 to 6,000 people with SMA at any one time in the UK.

>>Read more about SMA on NHS Choices


The British Society for Human Genetics
Faculty of Public Health
Muscular Dystrophy Campaign
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
SMA Trust
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Support UK

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Summary and consultation responses on carrier screening SMA (PDF document, 386KB, 18/12/13)
icon UK NSC Review of Carrier Screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (PDF document, 406KB, 19/12/13)

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