What to Know About Progressive Muscular Atrophy | LifestyleDietBlog.com

What to Know About Progressive Muscular Atrophy
What to Know About Progressive Muscular Atrophy

Known as PMA, a rare adult-onset motor neuron disease, it affects the muscles. Although there is no cure, therapies could lessen symptoms and slow down nerve damage.

A rare form of motor neuron disease is progressive muscular atrophy (PMA). A set of conditions known as motor neuron diseases affect your motor neurons, which are the nerve cells in your nervous system that control your movement, breathing, and speech.

Males are most frequently affected by PMA, which causes less motor neuron loss. Your muscles and spinal cord communicate with one another via lower motor neurons. However, many PMA sufferers later experience damage to higher motor neurons, which are brain-derived.

One of the most typical signs of PMA is weakness in your arms and legs.

Learn more about the signs, symptoms, causes, and risk factors of PMA by reading on.

What are the symptoms of progressive muscular atrophy?

PMA progressively grows. It could begin with a hand or other area of your body losing strength. It typically spreads to other areas of your body over time.

PMA symptoms frequently include:
  • limp arms
  • weakness in your hands, arms, core, or legs
  • muscle cramps or pain
  • twitching
  • clumsiness
  • difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • unexplained weight loss
Some PMA sufferers claim that the cold exacerbates their symptoms.

What is the average age at which progressive muscle atrophy manifests?

Usually in late adulthood, PMA manifests. It may begin earlier than with other motor neuron disorders, according to earlier investigations. However, a 2015 review of the literature contends that other illnesses that resemble PMA may have been included in those studies and that the average age of start may be closer to 63 years.

PMA doesn't affect kids like the eponymous spinal muscular atrophy does.

How do doctors diagnose progressive muscular atrophy?

You will be asked to fully describe your symptoms to a doctor. They will ask you questions about your medical and family history and do a comprehensive physical examination.

Several different illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and brain and spinal cord tumours, can share PMA's signs and symptoms. A doctor will advise additional testing to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing PMA.

Other diagnostic procedures that doctors might utilise include:
  • electromyography
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
  • muscle and nerve biopsies
  • blood work
  • cerebrospinal fluid analysis
  • computed tomography (CT) scans
  • nerve conduction velocity test
  • urine test
A PMA diagnosis may not be confirmed for several months or even years. Your doctor will keep an eye on your symptoms throughout this period, treat them, and order routine tests.

What is the treatment for progressive muscular atrophy?

For PMA, there is no typical course of action. As an alternative, your doctor will collaborate with you to create a treatment strategy to assist you to manage your symptoms and keep up the best possible quality of life.

Commonly used therapies include:
  • Medication: In PMA, the ALS medication riluzole may halt the loss of motor neurons. Other medicines can aid in reducing muscle twitching, discomfort, and cramping.
  • Nutritional counselling: Your healthy weight maintenance and ability to eat and drink safely are the major objectives of nutritional counselling for PMA.
  • Occupational therapy: A proposal from an occupational therapist can help you live independently to the fullest.
  • Physical therapy: Stretching and exercise are part of physical therapy to increase your flexibility and strength.
  • Assistive devices: One day, you might require a wheelchair, walker, or cane to get around and prevent falls.

How likely is it that someone with increasing muscle atrophy will survive?

Since PMA is progressive, it will get worse with time. It frequently advances very gradually and may only affect one portion of your body for years at a time.

However, each person's outlook is very different from the next. Additionally, it is based on the severity of your symptoms at the time of diagnosis.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association in the UK reports that many patients with PMA live at least 5 years after the onset of the ailment, although there hasn't been much contemporary research on the subject. According to a 2009 study, patients with PMA have a 1-year higher median survival period than those with ALS.

Does PMA turn into ALS?

Many people with PMA eventually get upper motor neuron degeneration, which more closely approaches an ALS diagnosis, though specialists are unsure of the exact numbers. This has led some doctors to question if PMA is a subtype of ALS or a distinct illness.

What causes progressive muscular atrophy?

PMA's root aetiology is unclear. It is sporadic, so you don't necessarily need a family history of PMA to get it. It most certainly has a hereditary component, though.

PMA risk factors could include the following:
  • previous exposure to viruses
  • specific genetic mutations
  • male sex
  • older age
  • previous exposure to environmental toxins
  • previous nerve damage


Adult males are more likely to get PMA, a motor neuron disease. It frequently begins with a hand weakness and over time may spread to other parts of your body.

Muscle twitching, discomfort, cramping, and weakening are among the symptoms that PMA patients describe. Fatigue and weight loss are additional typical signs.

Since PMA resembles several different disorders, getting a proper diagnosis can be challenging. It's crucial to see a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you could have PMA.


Is PMA Curable?

There Is No Cure Or Treatment For PMA

Is PMA genetic?

No gene has been linked specifically to PMA

Can muscle atrophy spread?

May spread to affect other muscles of the body.

Can muscle atrophy be stopped?

Can often be reversed with exercise and better nutrition.

Can you fully recover from muscle atrophy?

You can recover from muscle atrophy by exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.

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