Multiple System Atrophy
Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) Evaluation
Multiple system atrophy (MSA) can be challenging to diagnose because its symptoms mimic more common diseases such as Parkinson’s. As a result, some people are never properly diagnosed.
UT Southwestern Medical Center brings together specialists who are trained in the diagnosis of MSA. Our multidisciplinary team uses a customized examination process to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
After discussing family history and current treatments with a patient and conducting a physical examination, our experts might use several tests to evaluate involuntary (autonomic) body functions, such as:
- Bladder and
bowel function tests to make sure the stomach and bladder are emptying
- Blood tests
to look for or rule out other diseases causing similar symptoms
scans that can show signs of degeneration in the brains of people with MSA and
some other neurodegenerative diseases
- An electrocardiogram
to track the electrical signals of the heart
- A sweat test
- A tilt table
test to assess any irregularities in blood pressure or heart rate that occur
when a person’s physical position changes
People who have difficulty sleeping might be evaluated by the Sleep and Breathing Disorders Clinic to determine whether the issue is an underlying and treatable sleep disorder.