MSA Treatments

There is currently no cure for multiple system atrophy (MSA), but research has brought us closer to the cause of the disease, which is the first step toward finding a cure. Our expertise produces holistic approaches to managing MSA’s symptoms, along with helping patients understand what to expect from the disease and treatments.

Treatment Options

Every patient’s experience with MSA is different. After an evaluation, we’ll develop a treatment plan tailored to your symptoms. 

AT UT Southwestern, we treat each symptom separately, so you’re able to continue your everyday activities. Any of the following treatments may be used: 

  • Medications used for Parkinson’s disease, such as carbidopa-levodopa and amantadine, may provide relief of muscle rigidity, slowness, and other motor symptoms as long as they do not cause side effects; however, they are not as effective for MSA as they are for treating Parkinson disease.
    • If your blood pressure fluctuates, physical maneuvers and medication might be prescribed to help manage it.
    • Bladder impairment is treatable with medications prescribed under the guidance of a urologist.
    • Other symptoms such as REM behavior disorder (acting out dreams when asleep ), mood disorder, and dystonia, which are common in MSA, are amenable to treatment with drugs.
  • Physical therapy can help you maintain as much of your motor and muscle capacity as possible as the disorder progresses. Our physical therapy program provides compassionate, individualized rehabilitation therapies that can help ease symptoms. And therapists work to provide family members with information to help them be a part of the patient’s successful rehabilitation.
  • Depending upon a patient’s needs, specialized evaluation and treatment may be performed by a urologist, sleep and pulmonary specialist, autonomic expert, nutritionist, cardiovascular physician, otolaryngologist, and palliative care doctor. 

Emotional Support

Neurodegenerative diseases such as MSA can be difficult, not just for patients, but also for their families and caregivers. Patients require help with mobility, blood pressure management, and bowel and bladder function. Loss of independence can negatively impact quality of life and impair coping mechanisms of patients and their family members.

Emotional support for patients and family members is provided by our licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in partnership with psychologists and psychiatrists as needed. Our LCSW organizes patient and caregiver meetings and conducts conference calls with patients, caregivers, and clinicians between clinic visits.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a multiple system atrophy specialist at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas, or to learn more about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.