Q. Is tongue fasciculations in a baby always a sign of SMA?

Answered by
Dr. Aida Quka
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 25, 2018

Hello doctor,

My son is 18 months old. He was born with ankle clonus, but it was completely gone after a while. So, he no longer has clonus. He also has possible tongue fasciculations. I say possibly because the pediatrician said that it was difficult to tell if they were or not. He is always sticking his tongue out and has an active tongue.

My question is, is tongue fasciculations in a baby/toddler always a sign of SMA? I am horrified by what I have read online. Is it possible that he is fine? I am desperate to know if tongue fasciculations always mean something bad. He is healthy and thriving in all ways.



Welcome to

You should know that tongue fasciculation do not have the same clinical significance in children as in adults. There are many abnormal neurological signs in adults which are usually present in normal children and disappear while growing up. This is because of an immature nervous system in children and incomplete myelinization of the nerves and central nervous system because of immaturity.

As your child has a normal physical and psychological development, there is nothing to worry about ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). It is an exceptional diagnosis. So, just try not to think about it anymore.

For more information consult a neurologist online -->

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