Clinical features and disability milestones in multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy.

Research paper by Sang-Wook SW Lee, Seong-Beom SB Koh

Indexed on: 01 Oct '12Published on: 01 Oct '12Published in: Journal of movement disorders


Multiple system atrophy (MSA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) are an adult-onset progressive neurodegenerative disorder that are known to display diverse clinical features and disease progression. We aim to characterize the clinical features and disease progression in patients with MSA and PSP by using a number of relevant disability milestones in Koreans. Forty-one patients with MSA and 14 patients with PSP had been enrolled. The mean age at onset of MSA-C, MSA-P and PSP was 56.7 ± 7.8, 62.5 ± 8.0, 68.9 ± 6.1 years respectively. The most commonly reported symptom at disease onset is disequilibrium/dizziness in MSA-C, tremor in MSA-P and frequent falling in PSP. The mean duration of reaching milestones after disease onset in MSA-C were as followings: 20.8 (urinary incontinence), 22.9 (frequent falling), 27.8 (wheelchair bound), 31.8 (dysarthria) and 35.8 months (diagnosis). The mean duration of reaching milestones after disease onset were 22.0 (urinary incontinence), 32.6 (frequent falling and diagnosis), 41.2 (dysarthria), 61.4 months (wheelchair bound) in MSA-P and 16.8 (dysarthria), 21.6 (diagnosis), 21.7 (frequent falling), 24.0 months (wheel chair bound) in PSP. In the case of MSA, dizziness may occur for the first time. Thus, when the patient complains of non-specific dizziness, a follow-up examination to distinguish it from MSA can be helpful. There was a trend for patients with MSA-C to reach more disability milestones than in MSA-P and PSP before diagnosis. It may explain why patients with MSA-C are required more detail history taking and neurologic examination at an earlier stage.