Multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension is a neurological disorder which was earlier known as Shy-Drager syndrome.
It is a progressive disorder of the central and autonomic nervous systems with orthostatic hypotension (an excessive drop in blood pressure when standing up) as main characteristic. The symptoms associated with the condition are dizziness, generalized weakness, vision disturbances, difficulty swallowing, sleep disturbances and decreased sweating. The condition is classified into 3 types on the basis of symptoms – Parkinsonian-type, cerebellar-type and combined-type.
As of now, there is no treatment for multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension. The treatment is symptomatic. Anti-Parkinson medication such as Sinemet may improve the general sense of well-being. Medications to elevate blood pressure while standing are often used, but may cause high blood pressure when lying down. Individuals should sleep with the head of the bed elevated. An artificial feeding tube or breathing tube may be required for problems with swallowing and breathing.
If you develop any of the symptoms that are associated with multiple system atrophy, see your doctor for diagnosis. A physical therapist can help you avoid many of the complications of multiple system atrophy.
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