Questions about care practices and the role of palliative care in pediatric neurodegenerative diseases have led the Neuromuscular Committee of the French Society of Neurology to conduct a retrospective study in spinal muscular atrophy type 1, a genetic disease most often leading to death before the age of 1 year. This was a multicenter study from paediatricians included in the reference centers of pediatric neuromuscular diseases was carried out on two 10-year periods (1989-1998 and 1999-2009). The 1989-1998 period included 12 centers with 106 patients, the 1999-2009 period 13 centers with 116 children. The mean age of onset of clinical signs was 2.1 months (range, 0-5.5 months), the median age at diagnosis was 4 months (range, 0-9 months) vs 3 months. The median age of death was 7.5 months (range, 0-24 months) vs 6 months. The care modalities included physiotherapy (90 %), motor support (61 % vs 26 % for the previous period), enteral nutrition by nasogastric tube (52 % vs 24 %), and 3.4 % of children had a gastrostomy (vs 1.8 %). At home, pharyngeal aspiration was used in 64 % (vs 41 %), oxygen therapy in 8 %, noninvasive ventilatory support in 7 %. The mean age at death was 8.1 months (range, 0-24 months) vs 7 months, the time from diagnosis to death was 4 months vs 3 months. Death occurred at home in 23 % vs 17 %, in a pediatric unit in 62 % vs 41 %. The use of analgesics and sedative drugs was reported in 60 % of cases: 40 % morphine (vs 18 %) and benzodiazepines in 48 % (vs 29 %). Respiratory support was limited mostly to oxygen by nasal tube (55 % vs 54 %), noninvasive ventilation in 9 % of the cases, and intubation and assisted mechanical ventilation (2 %). These results confirm a change in practices and the development of palliative care in children with a French consensus of practices quite different from the standard care in North-America and closer to the thinking of English medical teams. A prospective study within the 2011 national hospital clinical research program (PHRC 2011) is beginning in order to evaluate practices and the role of families and caregivers.