Multiple System Atrophy Treatments
Treatment for Parkinson Symptoms
Drugs used for Parkinson’s disease may provide relief of muscle rigidity, slowness, and other motor symptoms for some MSA patients, though only in the earlier stages and with less effectiveness than for Parkinson’s patients. Parkinson’s drugs also can lower blood pressure and may worsen NOH symptoms, dizziness, and fainting episodes.
Treatments for Autonomic Symptoms
To manage autonomic symptoms, patients may consider options such as increasing salt intake or taking steroid hormones or other drugs that raise blood pressure. Sleep apnea devices known as CPAP (continuous, positive airway pressure) machines can help with breathing difficulties.
Physical, speech, and occupational therapies offer drug-free tools for keeping muscles strong and flexible, helping prevent falls and other incidents that hasten disability. Encouraging mobility also lowers the risk of pulmonary embolism, a blood clot of an artery to the lungs, which can be fatal.
Many MSA patients succumb to secondary conditions of the disease, including pneumonia from aspirating food or saliva into the bronchial tubes. Apnea and problems with regulating blood pressure can also contribute to death. As such, these therapies are valuable as a way to closely monitor functions such as blood pressure and swallowing. Urinary tract infections due to disorders of the bladder can progress to overwhelming sepsis and lead to death.
MSA - What You Need to Know
- MSA Overview
- Types and Symptoms
- Treatment of MSA
- Prognosis and Outlook
- Differential Diagnosis
- Evaluation Methods
- Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (nOH)
- Neurogenic Bladder
- MSA-P (Parkinsonian)
- MSA-C (Cerebellar Ataxia)
- Breathing Disorders
- REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
- Depression and Cognitive Impairment
- Neuroprotective Diet
- Advanced Planning
- What is the ANS
- History of MSA
- What First Responders Need to Know About MSA