Nusinersen treatment of older children and adults with spinal muscular atrophy

Neuromuscul Disord. 2020 Dec 20;S0960-8966(20)30701-X. doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2020.12.006. Online ahead of print.


The purpose of this study was to determine how effective administration of nusinersen was at improving motor function in older adolescent and adult patients with spinal muscular atrophy, using standardized motor outcome measures. Data were gathered through a retrospective chart review of older spinal muscular atrophy patients (ages 5-58) being treated at Rady Children's Hospital and the University of California, San Diego with nusinersen from April 2017-June 2019. Linear mixed effects analyses found that, for older children and adult patients with SMA 1, 2, and 3, motor scores as measured by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Infant Test of Neuromuscular Disorders for non-sitters improved by 6 points (p = .01) and the Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination-2 by 2.6% (p = .008) over the 22-month study period. Over the same period, sitters improved on the Revised Upper Limb Module by 4.4 points (p = .02) and on the Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale-Expanded by 3.3% (p = .00005) post treatment with nusinersen. Older spinal muscular atrophy patients (5-58 years) being treated with nusinersen at our institutions are improving. Not only have symptoms stabilized, but their motor function has shown incremental improvements. Based on the results of this study, we suggested that nusinersen is well-tolerated and efficacious when treating older children and adult patients with spinal muscular atrophy 1, 2, and 3.

Keywords: Adolescents; Adults; Motor outcomes; Nusinersen; Spinal muscular atrophy.