An average of 150 babies are born with SMA every year in Turkey.

An average of 150 babies are born with SMA every year in Turkey.

The SMA Clinical Protocol, published by the Ministry of Health, stated that an average of 150 babies are born with SMA each year in Turkey, and it was emphasized that screening in newborns would allow early treatment of the disease.

The Ministry has published the SMA Clinical Protocol to contribute to the implementation of standardized procedures at the national level in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a hereditary and progressive muscular disease affecting nerve cells.

The protocol, which was first prepared with the contribution of field experts, provides detailed information and recommendations on the incidence of SMA, clinical outcomes, diagnostic procedures, treatment modalities, and psychological support and screening for sick children and their families. Couples that will get married and were given space for newborns this year.

Accordingly, at the moment about 3 thousand people in Turkey are infected by SMA. Considering an average of 1 million 200 thousand births annually in Turkey, it is estimated that the number of babies born with SMA is between 130-180 (average 150).

Type 1 SMA is the most serious type of SMA, classified as type 1, 2 and 3, occurs in the first 6 months of life and can lead to death in children before the age of two due to respiratory failure.

1 in 40 SMA carriers in the Western community

SMA can occur in a newborn with a 25% chance if both parents are carriers. If there is only one carrier between the parents, then the child will be born as carrier with 50% probability. Incompatible marriages are also listed as a serious risk factor for the disease.

According to clinical protocol data, SMA carriage occurs in about 1 in 40 people in the Western population.

For this reason, SMA screening for newlyweds and newborns so far this year is crucial in identifying vehicle status, providing appropriate treatment options to potential parents in these situations and starting treatment for children in the early stages.

Couples with SMA careers can have healthy children with government support

The clinical protocol also includes information on the screening process and what steps to follow.

Accordingly, if carriers are identified in a single parent in a screening for couples, the other spouses are also tested.

Couples who are both carriers of SMA are advised to have children through in vitro fertilization. The cost of this treatment, which is expensive, covers the state for SMA like other hereditary diseases.

Early treatment of SMA will be possible through heel blood screening

In the case of newborns, SMA, which is tested on a heel blood scan, will allow early treatment to begin. In this way, it will be possible to avoid the effects of the disease or reduce the damage that it may cause.

Also, babies diagnosed at neonatal screening will be re-evaluated for parental carriers if they have not been evaluated before.

“We will contribute to the limitations of SMA disease”

In the Clinical Protocol of the Ministry of Health, it was emphasized that screening programs would contribute to the reduction of disease rates and eradication of SMA, which is one of the leading causes of neonatal mortality in developed countries.

The protocol, which detailed treatment options available in Turkey and around the world for SMAs, highlighted the need for psychological support for sick children and parents. The protocol recommends that SMA patients be included in their national immunization calendar and receive an influenza vaccine once a year.

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