New visitor restrictions are in place due to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Learn more and review the latest information about the virus.

Comprehensive Care for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a disease that affects the central nervous system. It damages the nerve cells that control how muscles work. As a result, muscles slowly weaken and waste away. SMA is a genetic disease, and a person can only get it only if he or she inherits the gene for it from both parents.

Specialists at Northwestern Medicine Neuromuscular Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital are dedicated to the total care of people with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is currently the only provider of Nusinersen in Illinois, treating a growing number of patients who have different types of SMAs, including Types III and IV. Nusinersen is the only FDA-approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, and has been shown to halt the progression of spinal muscular atrophy. It may also help people regain some of the motor function they have lost.

We also offer genetic testing for Nusinersen, which may be required by your insurance.

Meet the Team

Our physicians have extensive experience diagnosing and treating neuromuscular diseases, including spinal muscular atrophy, and many of them are national leaders in their field.
Meet the Team
Downtown Chicago

Each member of your dedicated team will provide input and suggestions regarding your unique healthcare needs.

During your visit, you will meet with experts from multiple fields who specialize in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Each member of your dedicated team will provide input and suggestions regarding your unique healthcare needs.

Our dedicated team spends time with patients and their loved ones to explain the disease and current research. In addition, the team takes the time to intervene when dealing with symptoms such as muscle weakness, breathing problems, trouble eating or swallowing and limited mobility.

To learn more, or to make an appointment call 312.695.7950. You can also fill out a form and a member of our team will contact you.

What We Offer

  • Advanced treatment options and clinical trials.
  • Nusinersen, the first drug approved to treat children and adults with spinal muscular atrophy.
  • Multidisciplinary care that brings together a team of neuromuscular specialists in one clinic.
  • Treatment plans tailored to your type of SMA.
  • Comprehensive support for you and your family.
  • Genetic testing for Nusinersen

Why Choose Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Medicine is anchored by Northwestern Memorial Hospital, with the highest-ranked Neurology and Neurosurgery program in Illinois by U.S. News & World Report, 2019–2020. When options are limited, our experienced team is often able to offer innovative therapies and novel treatments through a wide variety of clinical trials.

Research and Clinical Trials

Northwestern Medicine physician-scientists conduct clinical research trials on all aspects of neuromuscular diseases.

Learn More


Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Top 10 in Neurology & Neurosurgery (5th)