MSA i.e. multiple system atrophy is a problem related to the nervous system, which is very rare and characterized by varied symptoms. Usually this problem is observed in adults who are mainly in their 50s or 60s. People suffering from this problem may experience symptoms quite similar to that of Parkinson’s disease. In this individual’s ability to establish coordination between different voluntary movements of the body is hampered and also some portion of the brain start getting affected causing problem in involuntary movement as well. Involuntary body movements include heart beats, sweating, and regular functioning of bladder and bowel, controlled level of blood pressure and so on.

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Complications Of Multiple System Atrophy

Complications Of Multiple System Atrophy

The progression of multiple system atrophy varies from patient to patient, but in any case the condition is not curable. However, as the problem progresses it becomes difficult for the patient to perform the daily activities with ease. Some of the common complications are as follows:

  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Interrupted sleep because of breathing problem or snoring
  • Difficulty is performing routine activities
  • Fail to maintain balance, thus; can get injuries by falling
  • Severe progression in immobility causing secondary issues like breakdown of skin cells
  • Facing speech difficulties because of vocal cord paralysis. (1)(2)

It has been observed that after identifying the multiple system atrophy symptoms for the first time, it has been observed that people usually live for approximately seven to ten years. This is a general span which may vary depending on the patient’s condition. In some rare cases, patient can survive for maximum fifteen years or longer than that.

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As this neurological disorder is fatal in nature, so it will ultimately lead to death of an individual. (2)

Preparing For Appointment

Individual first visit their family doctor or medical practitioner, who may then refer the patient to a specialist for better diagnosis and treatment. As multiple system atrophy is a neurological disorder affecting nervous system, so it is very likely that your doctor will refer you to a neurologist. Let’s take a look on some simple tips that helps in preparing for medical appointment.

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To-Do List For Multiple System Atrophy

One should prepare a list of multiple system atrophy symptoms experienced along with the duration, like for long he/she is experiencing these symptoms. Also, include details of emotional physical changes affecting the well being, for instance mood swings.

Doctors may ask about the past medical history for better diagnosis, hence; gather details of past medical history. This can include other health problems and the medications prescribed by the doctor or over the counter medications.

Doctor needs to know about every detail, so if you facing any change in the sex life then mention that as well. For instance, sudden loss of interest in sex or difficulty in erection and so on.

Patients do have a lot many question related to their health and also related to the problem they are facing. Do not hesitate in clarifying the doubts with the medical experts. It is advised to prepare a list of all the doubts, so that no point is missed.

Always keep a positive outlook towards life.

History

In the year 1969, the term multiple system atrophy was first used in medical science. The name multiple system atrophy was coined by the fact that this nervous system disorder affect various systems of the human body, which includes both voluntary as well as involuntary movements. Initially, because of fact of tests available, in most of the cases the problem was left identified but now, after listing to the symptoms doctors prescribe a list of tests to confirm that the patient is suffering from multiple system atrophy or Parkinson’s disease.

Till date no successful treatment for this problem has been identified but through medications the progression of painful symptoms can be minimized to a great extent. It has been observed that patients who take utmost care of themselves can survive for almost fifteen years after the problem is identified.

References:

  1. https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/multiple-system-atrophy/
  2. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Multiple-System-Atrophy

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 16, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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