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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate sensitivity to change and discriminant validity of the 20-item Motor Function Measure (MFM-20) in 2-7-year-old patients with spinal muscular atrophy types 1 (SMA1) or 2 (SMA2) treated with nusinersen. METHODS: Children aged 2 to 7 years old with SMA1 or SMA2 treated with nusinersen were assessed at least three times using the MFM-20 over an average follow-up time of 17 months. Evolution of 4-month-standardized MFM-20 scores was calculated for each MFM-20 domain (D1 standing and transfers, D2 axial and proximal, D3 distal) and for the total score (TS). RESULTS: Included in the study were 22 SMA1 subjects and 19 SMA2 subjects. Baseline MFM scores were significantly lower in patients with SMA1 than SMA2 (TS 29.5% vs. 48.3%, D1 4.5% vs. 10.6%, D2 43.6% vs. 72.6%, D3 51.2% vs. 75.0%). When considering the mean change during nusinersen treatment, standardized over a 4-month period, TS was improved for both SMA1 (+ 4.1%, SRM 1.5) and SMA2 (+ 2.8%, SRM 0.89) patients. For SMA1 patients, considerable changes were observed in D2 (+ 6.2%, SRM 0.89) and D3 (+ 6.0%, SRM 0.72), whereas the change in D1 was small (+ 0.5%, SRM 0.44). In SMA2 2 subjects, D3 was improved to a larger extent (+ 4.2%, SRM 0.53) than D1 (+ 1.8% SRM 0.63) or D2 (+ 3.2%, SRM 0.69). CONCLUSION: Our results validate use of MFM-20 to monitor function of young SMA1 and SMA2 subjects treated with nusinersen. Significant motor function improvements following treatment were observed in both SMA1 and SMA2 patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurol Sci

Publication Date



Disability evaluation, MFM, Motor Function Measure, Outcome assessment, Responsiveness, Spinal muscular atrophy