The rate of progression of multiple system atrophy varies from person to person, but the condition does not go into remission. As the disorder progresses, daily activities become increasingly difficult.
You may experience the following complications:
- Breathing abnormalities during sleep
- Injuries from falls associated with impaired walking or fainting
- Progressive immobility that can lead to secondary problems such as a breakdown of your skin
- Loss of ability to care for yourself in day-to-day activities (from bathing to brushing teeth)
- Vocal cord paralysis, which makes speech and breathing difficult
- Increased difficulty swallowing
People typically live about seven to nine years after multiple system atrophy symptoms first appear. Ten-year survival is rare. Death is often due to respiratory problems.
May 20, 2014
- Daroff RB, et al. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 1, 2014.
- Ubhi K, et al. Multiple system atrophy: A clinical and neuropathological perspective. Trends in Neurosciences. 2011;34:581.
- Wenning GK, et al. The natural history of multiple system atrophy: A prospective European cohort study. The Lancet Neurology. 2013;12:264.
- Multiple system atrophy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/msa/detail_msa.htm. Accessed March 1, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 1, 2014.
- Factor SA, et al. Multiple system atrophy: Prognosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 4, 2014.
- FDA approves Northera to treat neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm386311.htm. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Sandroni P (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 11, 2014.
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