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Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

Symptoms and Signs of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

The symptoms of multiple system atrophy (MSA) reflect damage to brain areas that control movement and direct autonomic functions such as heart rate. The symptoms of MSA with orthostatic hypotension (large drop in blood pressure when standing up) vary depending on the type. Some of these symptoms are similar to Parkinson’s disease – loss of muscle coordination, stiff or rigid muscles and tremors. Cerebellar-type MSA causes problems with speech and coordination.
Signs of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)
  • Loss of control of facial muscles
  • Speech impediment (dysarthria)
  • Problems chewing and swallowing
  • Dizziness or fainting when standing up
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Lack of coordination, shuffling gait
  • Stiff or rigid muscles with anterior flexion of the neck or trunk
  • Tremors
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Vision changes
  • Difficulty with small movements such as writing
  • Impotence
  • Problems sleeping
  • New or increased snoring
  • Sleep apnea (a blockage in the air passage)
  • Nausea and digestion problems
  • Confusion
  • Abnormal laughing or crying.
  • Depression
  • Dementia

Locations for Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)