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Koelbel, Heike; Vill, Katharina; Schwartz, Oliver; Blaschek, Astrid; Nennstiel, Uta; Schara-Schmidt, Ulrike; Hoffmann, Georg F.; Glaeser, Dieter; Roeschinger, Wulf; Bernert, Guenther; Klein, Andrea and Mueller-Felber, Wolfgang (2021): Neugeborenenscreeningprogramm für die spinale Muskelatrophie. In: Nervenarzt, Vol. 93, No. 2: pp. 135-141

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Background The introduction of a comprehensive newborn screening program for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), specifically for 5q-SMA, is planned for the end of 2021 in Germany. Several targeted treatment options have become available for all patients with SMA. Material and methods Newborn screening for 5q-SMA is based on the detection of a homozygous deletion of exon 7 in the SMN1 gene by molecular genetic analysis from the dried blood card. In all cases a second blood sample must be drawn as a part of confirmation diagnostics including the determination of the SMN2 copy numbers. Results Insights from pilot projects performed in parts of Germany are presented. Advantages and disadvantages of the screening project are discussed. Conclusion Consultation and treatment should be carried out in a department of neuropediatrics with experience in the treatment of children with 5q-SMA, which is able to provide all current treatment options for the child, so that, when necessary, the treatment can be started within the first month of life.

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