New SMA treatment topic of March Evenings with Genetics


HOUSTON -- March 21, 2017 --  Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease that affects the nervous system and causes weakness of the voluntary muscles, impacting movement. On Tuesday, March 28, Evenings with Genetics, a monthly speaker series hosted by Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, will highlight a new drug that has been approved by the FDA to treat the disease.

Dr. Timothy Lotze, associate professor of pediatrics – neurology at Baylor and director of the Pediatric MDA Clinic at Texas Children’s, will speak about this new drug, called Nusinersen, the first drug to be found to be effective in the treatment of SMA, and how it will impact patient outcomes in the future. Lotze will be joined by a special guest speaker, the mother of the first patient in Texas to be treated with the drug, who will detail their journey to treatment.

“Spinal muscular atrophy is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and has been a common genetic cause of infant death, as well as causing progressive weakness in many children and teenagers. Once an incurable disease, a newly developed treatment is saving the lives of these patients and starting a new era of gene therapy for pediatric neurological disease,” Lotze said.

The Evenings with Genetics series offers current information regarding care, education and research as they relate to genetic disorders and encourages networking within the community by connecting patients and their families with others in similar situations.

The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The seminar will be held at the Children’s Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz St., 77004. Light refreshments will be provided beginning at 6:30 p.m., and the seminar will begin at 7 p.m. For more information, please call 832-822-4280 or visit the event’s registration page.