Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)


Previously named Shy-Drager Syndrome, MSA is a progressive, adult onset disorder characterized by autonomic dysfunction, parkinson-like symptoms and failure of muscular coordination.  Any of these symptoms can occur alone, or in any combination in this disease.  Typically,  patients who develop MSA  fall between the ages of 50 and 70.  It is not unusual for patients to be mistakenly diagnosed as having Parkinson's Disease due to the shared symptoms of these conditions.  

Symptoms include orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when standing), failure of muscular coordination,
upper airway and central apnea, nocturnal snoring, and sleep apnea, problems with articulation of speech as well as muscular wasting.


Below you will find links to full text articles that are available for download or for viewing.  Keep in mind that this research is intended for a medical professional audience, and may not be easily understood without consultation with your physician.  Also, there are numerous medical journals that publish medical research, each with its own set of standards of review and acceptance.  What one journal will accept may have been rejected by several other journals as not meeting peer scrutiny.  

As you read the journal articles that are available here, please keep in mind that research findings often may point to conflicting results. A single study's results may not be able to be duplicated, or may be contradicted by results from another study. 

You should speak to your physician before making any judgments based upon this information.

Review Articles

Below are links to full text review articles that discuss the autonomic nervous system and orthostatic intolerance.  Click on the hyperlink to open up a PDF file.  You will need to have Adobe's free Reader program installed in order to view these files. 


Dysautonomias: clinical disorders of the autonomic nervous system.
Ann Intern Med. 2002 Nov 5;137(9):753-63. Review.

Multiple system atrophy: cellular and molecular pathology.
Mol Pathol. 2001 Dec;54(6):419-26. Review.

Free Full Text Abstracts

The following links provide access to journal articles on NMS from the National Library of Medicine's PubMed database of medical research.  By clicking on the hyperlink,  you will be directed to the NLM web site where you can access the abstract.  Use the "Full Text" link to open the full article in your browser window.  Most articles have a PDF version available for downloading, saving or printing.  If you are looking for additional information or articles that provide abstracts only, please visit the NLM web site.

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