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Multiple system atrophy: Prognosis and treatment

Stewart A Factor, DO
Christine Doss Esper, MD
Section Editor
Howard I Hurtig, MD
Deputy Editor
John F Dashe, MD, PhD


Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a unifying term that brings together a group of neurodegenerative disorders (olivopontocerebellar atrophy, striatonigral degeneration, and Shy-Drager) characterized by various degrees of autonomic dysfunction, cerebellar abnormalities, parkinsonism, and corticospinal degeneration.

This topic will review the prognosis and management of MSA. Other clinical aspects of MSA are reviewed separately. (See "Multiple system atrophy: Clinical features and diagnosis".)


Disease progression in MSA usually occurs over one to 18 years, and is often faster than that of idiopathic Parkinson disease [1].

In mainly retrospective studies, the median times from disease onset to disability milestones in MSA were as follows:

Development of autonomic dysfunction, 2.5 years [2]


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Feb 10, 2016.
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