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Multiple System Atrophy

by Phillip Low, MD

Multiple system atrophy is a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative disorder causing pyramidal, cerebellar, and autonomic dysfunction. It includes 3 disorders previously thought to be distinct: olivopontocerebellar atrophy, striatonigral degeneration, and Shy-Drager syndrome. Symptoms include hypotension, urinary retention, constipation, ataxia, rigidity, and postural instability. Diagnosis is clinical. Treatment is symptomatic, with volume expansion, compression garments, and vasoconstrictor drugs.

Multiple system atrophy affects about twice as many men as women. Mean age at onset is about 53 yr; after symptoms appear, patients live about 9 to 10 yr.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

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  • R-GENE 10
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