What are the physical findings characteristic of multiple system atrophy (MSA)?

Updated: Oct 21, 2018
  • Author: Mohini Gurme, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Multiple system atrophy: Autonomic manifestations are similar to those observed in AAN and PAF. However, additional neurologic features may be present.

  • Pyramidal or cerebellar abnormalities including weakness, ataxia, incoordination, and eye-movement abnormalities may precede the autonomic features by as long as 2 years.

  • Patients with the MSA parkinsonian variant have variable parkinsonian findings, including rigidity, bradykinesia, tremor, and truncal instability, that do not respond to levodopa.

  • Patients with the MSA cerebellar variant have evidence of cerebellar dysfunction that manifests as ataxia, dysmetria, dysdiadochokinesia, and incoordination. Eye-movement abnormalities are frequently present.

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