Feeding problems and malnutrition in spinal muscular atrophy type II

Sonia Messina, Marika Pane, Paola De Rose, Isabella Vasta, Domenica Sorleti, Annie Aloysius, Federico Sciarra, Fortunato Mangiola, Maria Kinali, Enrico Bertini, Eugenio Mercuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to conduct a survey using a dedicated questionnaire to assess feeding difficulties and weight gain in a population of 122 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type II patients, aged between 1 and 47 years. All the answers were entered in a database and were analysed subdividing the cohort into age groups (1-5, 6-10, 11-14, 15-19, 20-29, and 30-50 years). Six out of our 122 patients (5%), all younger than 11 years, had weights more than 2SD above the median for age matched controls, whilst 45 (37%) had weights less than 2SD below the median. Chewing difficulties were reported in 34 of the 122 patients (28%) and limitation in the ability to open the mouth in 36 (30%) and both were increasingly more frequent with age. Swallowing difficulties were reported in 30 patients (25%). The results of our survey suggest that a number of patients with SMA type II have limited jaw opening, and chewing and swallowing difficulties. Our findings raise a few issues concerning standards of care that should be implemented in the monitoring and management of feeding difficulties and weight gain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-393
Number of pages5
JournalNeuromuscular Disorders
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Dysphagia
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Swallowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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