What are the First Signs of Multiple Systems Atrophy?

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What are the First Signs of Multiple Systems Atrophy?

What is Multiple System Atrophy?

Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare neurological disorder that affects various parts of the body. It can be challenging to detect in its early stages because its symptoms often resemble those of other conditions.

It’s essential to note that these symptoms can vary in every other person, and not everyone with MSA will experience all of them. Additionally, the progression of the disease can differ from person to person.

If someone experiences these signs, it’s crucial to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and management can help improve the quality of life for individuals living with MSA.

What are the First Signs of Multiple Systems Atrophy?

What are the First Signs of Multiple Systems Atrophy?

However, some common signs may indicate the presence of MSA:

  • Difficulty with Movement: One of the earliest signs of MSA is trouble with movement. This can include stiffness, slowness, or tremors, similar to those seen in Parkinson’s disease. People may notice that they have trouble walking smoothly or experience jerky movements.
  • Balance and Coordination Issues: As MSA advances, individuals may have increasing difficulty maintaining their balance and coordination. This can lead to frequent falls or unsteadiness while walking.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Many people with MSA experience disturbances in their sleep patterns. This can include insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or breathing difficulties during sleep.
  • Speech and Swallowing Problems: Individuals may develop difficulty speaking clearly or swallowing food and liquids as MSA progresses. This can lead to choking episodes or a hoarse voice.
  • Orthostatic Hypotension: A common symptom of MSA is orthostatic hypotension, which means a sudden drop in blood pressure when moving from lying down to standing up. This can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or even fainting.
  • Early signs of autonomic dysfunction may include dizziness upon standing, urinary urgency or incontinence, constipation, or difficulty controlling body temperature.

Dr. Navin Tiwari
Consulting Neurologist

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