We aimed to develop and validate a novel rating scale for multiple system atrophy (Unified Multiple System Atrophy Rating Scale-UMSARS). The scale comprises the following components: Part I, historical, 12 items; Part II, motor examination, 14 items; Part III, autonomic examination; and Part IV, global disability scale. For validation purposes, 40 MSA patients were assessed in four centers by 4 raters per center (2 senior and 2 junior raters). The raters applied the UMSARS, as well as a range of other scales, including the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and the International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale (ICARS). Internal consistency was high for both UMSARS-I (Crohnbach's alpha = 0.84) and UMSARS-II (Crohnbach's alpha = 0.90) sections. The interrater reliability of most of the UMSARS-I and -II items as well as of total UMSARS-I and -II subscores was substantial (k(w) = 0.6-0.8) to excellent (k(w) > 0.8). UMSARS-II correlated well with UPDRS-III and ICARS (rs > 0.8). Depending on the degree of the patient's disability, completion of the entire UMSARS took 30 to 45 minutes. Based on our findings, the UMSARS appears to be a multidimensional, reliable, and valid scale for semiquantitative clinical assessments of MSA patients.
2004 Movement Disorder Society.