ClinicalTrials.gov Search

Search for specific clinical trials that are underway using the keyword search below.

Keywords:

Patient support groups also offer information about clinical trials.

Content Provided By

NINDS Disorders is an index of neurological conditions provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This valuable tool offers detailed descriptions, facts on treatment and prognosis, and patient organization contact information for over 500 identified neurological disorders.

  Print-friendly Version

Multiple System Atrophy with Orthostatic Hypotension

Multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension is the current classification for a neurological disorder that was once called Shy-Drager syndrome. A progressive disorder of the central and autonomic nervous systems, it is characterized by orthostatic hypotension (an excessive drop in blood pressure when standing up) which causes dizziness or fainting. Multiple system atrophy can occur without orthostatic hypotension, but instead have urinary involvement (urgency/incontinence).  Doctors classify the disorder into 3 types: the Parkinsonian-type includes symptoms of Parkinson's disease such as slow movement, stiff muscles, and tremor; the cerebellar-type, which causes problems with coordination and speech; and the combined-type, which includes symptoms of both parkinsonism and cerebellar failure. Problems with urinary incontinence, constipation, and sexual impotence in men happen early in the course of the disease. Other symptoms include generalized weakness, double vision or other vision disturbances, difficulty breathing and swallowing, sleep disturbances, and decreased sweating. Because the disease resembles others, a correct diagnosis may take years.

Treatment

There is no cure for multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension. Treatment is aimed at controlling symptoms. Anti-Parkinson medication such as Sinemet may improve the general sense of well-being. Medications to elevate blood pressure while standing are often used, but may cause high blood pressure when lying down. Individuals should sleep with the head of the bed elevated. An artificial feeding tube or breathing tube may be required for problems with swallowing and breathing.

Prognosis

Most individuals with multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension die within 7 to 10 years after the onset of symptoms. A problem with the respiratory system is the most common cause of death.

Research

The NINDS supports research on disorders of the autonomic nervous system, including multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension. This research is aimed at developing techniques to diagnose, treat, and prevent these disorders.  Currently there are ongoing treatment trials of drugs to treat MSA.

View a list of studies currently seeking patients.

View more studies on this condition.

Organizations

The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition

National support group that collects and disseminates information and promotes education and support for people affected by Shy-Drager Syndrome or multiple system atrophy.

8311 Brier Creek Parkway
Suite 105-434
Raleigh, NC 27617
Tel: 1-866-737-5999

National Dysautonomia Research Foundation

Non-profit foundation established to help those afflicted with any of the various forms of dysautonomia. Provides a support network for affected individuals and family members by providing information on the various forms of dysautonomia, as well as providing contacts to other organizations that may be of assistance.

P.O. Box 301
Red Wing, MN 55066-0301
Tel: 651-267-0525
Fax: 651-267-0524

<< Back