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What is the diagnosis of Multiple System Atrophy with Orthostatic Hypotension?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 10, 2012
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • Diagnosis of multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension may take years.
  • Physical examination may be done to confirm diagnosis of the disease.
  • The other causes of symptoms may be analysed for diagnosis.
  • MRI of the head may be taken to diagnose the condition.

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Multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension is how neurological disorder that was earlier called Shy-Drager syndrome is classified as currently. This disorder is progressive in nature and is related to the central and autonomic nervous systems. The disorder is characterised by orthostatic hypotension, which is an excessive drop in the blood pressure when standing up.

Multiple System Atrophy with Orthostatic Hypotension
Experts classify the disorder into three types:

  • The Parkinsonian-type that includes symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. These symptoms include stiff muscles, slow movement and tremors.
  • Cerebellar type: this type of the disorder causes troubles with speech and coordination.
  • Combined-type: this includes symptoms that are characteristic of both Parkinson’s disease and cerebellar failure.

Some of the symptoms of this disease urinary incontinence, sexual impotence in men (this happens early in the course of the disease) and constipation.
The doctor or nurse will examine you and check different parts of the body such as the eyes, muscles and nerves. The blood pressure will be taken while you are lying as well as when you are standing. There really are no particular tests for confirming the disease and a neurologist will be able to make a diagnosis based on:

  • Results of physical examination
  • History of symptoms
  • Other causes of symptoms

 

Some of the tests to diagnose the disease may include the following:

  • Plasma norepinephrine levels
  • MRI of the head
  • Examination of the urine for norepinephrine breakdown products.

 

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