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Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

Multiple System Atrophy is a rare condition that affects the brain. It is a progressive condition which means the symptoms tend to get worse over time.

Multiple System Atrophy affects approximately 4.4 per 100,000 people.

Multiple System Atrophy is difficult to diagnose and can be confused with Parkinson’s Disease especially early on when the symptoms can be similar.

Symptoms

Multiple System Atrophy has a wide range of symptoms, but few people experience them all and symptoms vary person to person.

Symptoms may include:

  • difficulties with muscle stiffness
  • slow movements
  • the bladder
  • blood pressure problems
  • constipation
  • erection difficulties for men
  • problems controlling sweating
  • falls
  • eating/drinking
  • sleeping
  • thinking
  • talking.

Treatment

Researchers are looking for a cure for MSA. There are many therapies or strategies that can help manage symptoms, but no proven medication or surgery therapy at this stage.

Help manage symptoms

Services that may help in managing symptoms include:

  • counselling or psychology services may be accessed through a mental health plan with your GP, or through Parkinson’s SA
  • physiotherapy for those who have trouble with your walking or you are having falls
  • occupational therapy if you need equipment or home modifications
  • speech pathology for those who have trouble with eating, drinking or talking
  • dietitian if you are having trouble meeting your nutritional needs or losing weight
  • Independent Living Centre of South Australia for information about resources, equipment or aids that could help you.
  • SA Continence Resource Centre for information, education or advice about continence issues, pads and appliances.

Where can I go for help?

Speak to your GP about different services you may need. Contact Parkinson’s SA for information and support to anyone affected by MSA.

Further information

For further information, contact:

Speech Pathology
Repatriation General Hospital
Daws Road, Daw Park SA 5041
Telephone: (08) 8275 1861

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