Background: Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a neurodegenerative disease leading to severe physical impairment, with a disease duration from onset to death of 6-9 years.
Methods: The clinical and neuropathological features of 4 MSA cases with disease duration of 15 years or more were analyzed.
Results: All patients presented with parkinsonism and had a mean latency of 11 years before the development of dysautonomia. Mean duration from onset of first symptoms to anterocollis, inspiratory stridor, and dysphagia was 9 years. Despite the limited levodopa response, all patients developed levodopa-induced dyskinesia.
Conclusions: Late appearance of dysautonomia is a favorable prognostic factor in MSA-P. Greater awareness of this uncommon "benign" subgroup of MSA will improve diagnostic accuracy and help to more accurately inform treatment options.
Copyright © 2012 Movement Disorder Society.