Multiple system atrophy

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by symptoms of autonomic nervous system failure such as fainting spells and bladder control problems, combined with motor control symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, and loss of muscle coordination.  MSA affects both men and women primarily in their 50s.  The disease tends to advance rapidly over the course of 9 to 10 years, with progressive loss of motor skills, eventual confinement to bed, and death. The cause of multiple system atrophy is unknown, although environmental toxins, trauma, and genetic factors have been suggested.  There is no cure for this condition, and there is no known way to prevent the disease from getting worse. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms.  Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.

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