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A recent article reported that multiple system atrophy (MSA) exhibits some properties of a prion disorder in a mouse model. This research helps to move our understanding of MSA forward in many ways, and may offer new insights into treatment strategies. At the same time, it is important to note that the term “prion” in this particular case does not imply any possibility of transmission across human beings for several reasons.

  • First, the prion phenomenon occurred only in artificially genetically mutated mice, using a gene that is NOT present in human MSA, and prions did NOT occur at all when they tested normal mice.
  • Second, there has never been a report of transmission from contact with an affected individual with MSA to another individual, or through a surgical procedure.

We wish to reassure the MSA community that while steady progress is being made in better understanding this disorder, there is no new evidence of any transmission risk.

– The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition