(S)un (M)ay (A)rise on SMA: The hope of a region without spinal muscular atrophy
Boemer F., Caberg JH., Dideberg V., Beckers P., Marie S., Marcelis L., Bours V., Dangouloff T., Servais L.
© 2019 Revue Medicale de Liege. All rights reserved. The treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has considerably changed over the last 3 years. Several approaches that aim to increase the deficient SMN protein have demonstrated an efficacy that is inversely correlated with disease duration. In this context, newborn screening (NBS) is increasingly considered as the next step in several countries or regions. In 2018, we initiated a pilot study for NBS of SMA in French- and German-speaking Belgium. We aim to evaluate the feasibility, the efficacy, and the cost-effectiveness of such a program. Initially covering the region of Liege, the program was recently extended to the whole Southern Belgium and currently covers about 55.000 newborns per year. On June 1st 2019, 35.000 newborns had been screened and 5 affected babies were identified and referred to neuromuscular centers for early treatment. A full evaluation of the program will take place after three years to consider the inclusion of SMA screening in the publically-funded NBS program in Southern Belgium.