What are the first signs of multiple system atrophy?

What are the symptoms of MSA? Most often, the first clinical symptom a patient will note will be lightheadedness, dizziness, and episodes of passing out, but the first symptoms in some patients may include difficulty initiating movement, body stiffness, urinary incontinence, and increased falls.

Is MSA a fatal disease?

Multiple system atrophy is a progressive, fatal disorder that makes muscles stiff (rigid) and causes problems with movement, loss of coordination, and malfunction of internal body processes (such as blood pressure and bladder control).

How quickly does MSA progress?

MSA damages the nervous system. The disease tends to progress rapidly. About one half of people with MSA-P have lost most of their motor skills within 5 years of onset of the disease.

What is the life expectancy of multiple system atrophy?

People typically live about seven to 10 years after multiple system atrophy symptoms first appear. However, the survival rate with MSA varies widely. Occasionally, people can live for 15 years or longer with the disease. Death is often due to respiratory problems.

Are there stages of MSA?

There are three levels of certainty: Possible, probable and definate. The diagnosis of possible MSA and probable MSA basically involves having more of these features.

What is multiple system atrophy?

What is multiple system atrophy? Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a combination of symptoms that affect both the autonomic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary action such as blood pressure or digestion) and movement.

What are the treatment options for multiple system atrophy?

Medications used for MSA are used for raising blood pressure, reducing PD-like symptoms, managing impotence. Other devices such as pacemakers and catheters are used to manage heart-rate and bladder difficulties. Physical therapy is important to maintain mobility, reduce contractures, and fight off abnormal posture as the disease is progressing.

How long can you live with multiple system atrophy?

The progression of MSA varies, but the condition does not go into remission. As the disorder progresses, daily activities become increasingly difficult. Progressive immobility that can lead to secondary problems such as a breakdown of your skin People typically live about seven to 10 years after multiple system atrophy symptoms first appear.

How is multiple system atrophy (MSA) diagnosed?

If your doctor suspects multiple system atrophy, he or she will obtain a medical history, perform a physical examination and possibly order blood tests. Brain imaging scans, such as an MRI, can show signs that may suggest MSA and also help determine if there are other causes that may be contributing to your symptoms.