Revised upper limb module in type II and III spinal muscular atrophy: 24-month changes

Published:November 07, 2021DOI:


      • The aim was to establish 24-month changes in type II and III SMA patients.
      • 107 patients (54 type II and 53 type III) were grouped by type, function and age.
      • 23% of patients decreased more than 2 points and 7% improving by >2 points.
      • Significant changes were observed after 24 but not after 12 months.
      • Our results suggest a progressive decline in upper limb function.


      The aim of the study was to establish 24-month changes in a large cohort of type II and III spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients assessed with the Revised Upper Limb Module (RULM), a tool specifically developed to assess upper limb function in SMA. We included 107 patients (54 type II and 53 type III) with at least 24-months follow up. The overall RULM 24-month changes showed a mean decline of -0.79 points. The difference between baseline and 24 months was significant in type II but not in type III patients. There was also a difference among functional subgroups but not in relation to age. Most patients had 24-month mean changes within 2 points, with 23% decreasing more than 2 points and 7% improving by >2 points. Our results suggest an overall progressive decline in upper limb function over 24 months. The negative changes were most notable in type II, in non-ambulant type III and with a different pattern of progression, also in non-sitter type II. In contrast, ambulant type III showed relative stability within the 24-month follow up. These findings will help in the interpretation of the real world data collected following the availability of new therapeutic approaches.


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