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Term: progressive muscular atrophy

Name: Progressive Muscular Atrophy
Category: General Terms
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Abbrev: PMA

A progressive neurological disease in which the lower motor nerve cells (motor neurons) deteriorate. PMA is not rapidly progressive.

What is PMA?

PMA affects only the lower motor neurons, causing atrophy and fasciculations.

PMA is noted by an absence of upper motor neuron difficulties such as spasticity, brisk reflexes, or the Babinski sign.

Patients with PMA survive longer than patients with ALS and in some cases symptoms can be restricted to the arms or legs for a long period of time before spreading elsewhere in the body.

Types of Progressive Muscular Atrophy?

There may be two subtypes, one with a patchy distribution and one with a leg distribution. In the first case, progression is unpredictable, whilst in the latter there is a prolonged latency period between the progression from legs to arms, and then again to the bulbar region.

Other PMA Related Resources:

  • PMA Online Support Group - ideal for individuals wanting to learn more about PMA, or for individuals wanting to chat with others that have been affected by PMA.
  • PMA description - This PMA support group discussion has more information about PMA. Join the group to add your questions or comments about PMA.

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