Share this article on:

Multiple System Atrophy

Wilson, Dave

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000351323.47982.c2
Department: Letter

Cypress, TX

I have been reading Neurology Now for several years as a result of my wife being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD) almost nine years ago. Because of her young age (41 at the time) it was a lengthy process to get a diagnosis. As the PD progressed, it became difficult to differentiate which symptoms—like light-headedness, incontinence, and loss of balance—were caused by medications and which by other factors. In my wife's case, she was recommended for deep brain stimulation, which she had, but with no positive results. Roughly one and a half years later she was diagnosed with “probable” multiple system atrophy (confirmation can only be via autopsy of the brain), which doesn't respond to deep brain stimulation. It is very common for MSA patients to be initially diagnosed with PD, as the early symptoms are similar. I wonder how many patients never get the correct diagnosis, especially elderly ones who might also have a number of complicating age-related issues. There are no celebrities or prominent figures that I know of that campaign for MSA awareness. As such, a story in Neurology Now would be interesting and educational to the lay person and medical community alike in understanding these different diseases.

Dave Wilson

Cypress, TX

Copyright © 2009, AAN Enterprises, Inc.