Reflecting on our 2021 Advocacy Accomplishments

2021 was another challenging year for many, but once again, MDA’s grassroots advocates were relentless in ensuring lawmakers heard their voices. Throughout the year, our volunteers emailed, called, and met with important decision-makers urging them to act on vital public policy that will improve the lives of people living with neuromuscular disease and their families.  . . .

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Muscular Dystrophy Association Awards 18 Grants Totaling Over $1.6 Million for Neuromuscular Disease Research

On Oct. 28, 2021 the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) announced the awarding of 18 new grants totaling over $1.6 million toward neuromuscular disease (NMD) research. These new grants represent a continued commitment by MDA to fund groundbreaking research that will one day lead to treatments and cures for the diseases in its program. The newly . . .

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Research Study Alert: Survey for Caregivers of Individuals with SMA about Communication Abilities

Researchers at Russell Sage College are seeking parents or legal guardians of individuals with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to participate in a survey about the communication abilities of the affected individuals. Analysis of the current communicative behaviors used by individuals with SMA will help researchers develop communication systems that better address the needs of this population. . . .

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Research Study Alert: Survey for Caregivers of Children with SMA to Study Treatment Decision Making

Researchers at Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan are seeking caregivers of children living with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to participate in a survey about treatment decision making. Over the last five years, three treatments have been approved and are changing life expectancy and physical functioning for children with SMA. The goal of this survey . . .

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Buy a Shamrock, Grow Hope

It’s March, and at MDA that means only one thing: It’s Shamrocks season! Each St. Patrick’s Day season for the last 37 years, MDA has partnered with 20,000 retailers nationwide to raise a little green (more than $323 million, to be exact) both to send kids to MDA Summer Camp and to fund groundbreaking research . . .

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Strengthened by Spinraza, Marley Robinson is Tackling College — and Planning for More

Feb. 28 is Rare Disease Day, when the collective rare disease community raises awareness of the conditions with which we live and advocates for access to new novel treatments like Spinraza, the first FDA-approved disease-modifying drug for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare neuromuscular disease that affects people like 18-year-old Marley Robinson. Spinraza is making . . .

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Trexo Robotics Releases Trexo Home Walking Aid for Children

Joining a growing number of companies developing robotic devices for those living with mobility impairments, Ontario’s Trexo Robotics just launched the newest in its line of robotic walking aids specifically for children, the Trexo Home. Unlike the company’s Trexo Plus, a set of wearable robotic legs that attach to a walker for use in clinical . . .

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Arkansas to Screen Babies for SMA

This week, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law a bill, HB 1074, that requires the state to add spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to its newborn screening panel. SMA is the No. 1 genetic cause of death in infants, affecting approximately 1 in 10,000 babies. MDA was proud to advocate for the addition of SMA . . .

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FDA Accepts AveXis’ BLA for SMA Drug Zolgensma Under Priority Review

Today, Novartis, the parent company of AveXis Inc., announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company’s Biologics License Application (BLA) under Priority Review for Zolgensma (formerly known as AVXS-101), a gene therapy for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 1. Priority Review status requires the FDA to review . . .

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