Other Organs and Systems
SMN protein is not just found in the spinal cord, it is also present in all cells as soon as an egg is first fertilised. This means that other organs and parts of the body may be affected by a lack of the protein. Scientists investigating animal models of SMA have suggested that reduced SMN protein may have an impact on the brain, nerves, heart and pancreas. However, only a minority of people with SMA have clearly had challenges with other organs and in those who have, it has not been demonstrated that the cause is the SMA.