Symptoms of Multiple System Atrophy

Multiple System Atrophy is characterized by a combination of parkinsonism, autonomic dysfunction, and ataxia (Poor coordination / unsteady walking). As the disease progresses three groups of symptoms predominate, the symptoms would be:

1. Parkinsonism (slow, stiff movement, writing becomes small and spidery)
2. Cerebellar dysfunction (difficulty coordinating movement and balance)
3. Autonomic nervous system dysfunction (impaired automatic body functions)
4. Postural or orthostatic hypotension, resulting in dizziness or fainting upon standing up
5. Urinary incontinence or urinary retention
6. Impotence
7. Constipation
8. Vocal cord paralysis
9. Dry mouth and skin
10. Trouble regulating body temperature due to sweating deficiency in all parts of the body
11. Loud snoring, abnormal breathing or inspiratory stridor during sleep
12. Other sleep disorders including sleep apnea, REM Behavior Disorder
13. Double vision can occur

Not all patients experience all of these symptoms. A study says only 20% of patients experience major cognitive impairment as a result of MSA.