Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Weight, Height, Growth-Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Almost everything to do with the care of an SMA Type 1 child is up for debate. Except for the Conventional wisdom of Tracheostomy all other modes of therapy are often looked down upon by physicians and other medical professionals. Can you imagine doing double blind studies on terminally ill children allowing some to just die while giving life saving treatments to others. I have observed many children now while caring for my daughter Shira who has SMA Type 1. My greatest frustration is parent's not receiving a list of choices for therapies that would insure their child does not die an untimely death. It's true that a course of action can be strictly palliative and I support parents that want to go that way if they have been exposed to all the modes of therapies available for our children before making their choice. This is a long discussion so I will get to the point I would like to make today. Diet! Yes diet is another mode of therapy for SMA Children that is a heated topic and of great debate. I am tired of doctors telling me that the AA diet or Amino Acid diet is unproven and might be dangerous. I have watched more children suffer from other diets than from this diet. The other diets also available for our children are also unproven in the SMA world and are also just as anecdotal in effectiveness as the Amino Acid Diet. So, if you are butting heads with your nutritionist and doctor over the AA diet just ask them for Clinical or Empirical information Expressly Written that proves that the diet they would like to see your child on has been studied on SMA patients. I can tell you right now no diets have been studied on an SMA Population!

Also, one of the measures doctors and nutritionists use is the traditional BMI or Body Mass Index to chart SMA childrens development. Unless nutritionists and doctors adjust for SMA patients low musculature etc. the outcome will show the SMA patient to not be thriving which just isn't the case. I have recently found an Index that might be more inline and accepted to use for the SMA population than the BMI and that is the Kennedy Krieger Institutes Growth References for Children with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. Growth Charts

If you need more information to back up what you are talking about with your Doctor, Nutritionist and other medical professionals regarding the AA diet you can also go to Shira's web site at Shira's Web Site

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