Hotline: 1-866-737-5999

SDS/MSA FAQ - PDF Download 
Home |About Us |Support |Education |Research |Advocacy |Fundraising| Contact Us
History of SDS/MSA Charity
Position Statement
MSA Forums
The MSA Blog
MSA Events
Annual Conference
Sophies Search for a Cure DVD
Movement Disorder Clinics
Doctors & Clinics
Common Symptoms of MSA
Diagnosing MSA
MSA Demographics
MSA Description by NIH
MSA vs Parkinsons
Sympathetic Nerves in MSA
Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension
MSA Glossary of Terms
Annual Conference DVD
The MSA Research Fund
MSA Research Grants
Research Grant Application Form
AAS - MSA Research Award
MSA Research Updates/Results
What is the ANS
Board of Directors
MSA Coalition Press Releases
Position Statement
MSA Coalition History
Waters Pressor Effect
Shop Now - MSA Tee Shirts
The MSA Research Fund
Start a Fundraiser
Memorial Envelopes
MSA Advocacy
The MSA Blog
Support Group Meeting DVD
Sophies Search for a Cure
Annual MSA Conference
Doctors and Clinics
SDS/MSA Clinical Trials
Local Support Groups
Hospice Information
Board of Directors
Site Map

How Is SDS Different From Parkinson's Disease?

Although Parkinson's disease may affect the autonomic nervous system, the autonomic symptoms are usually relatively mild as compared to SDS sometimes call Parkinson's Plus. However, in some cases the distinction between Parkinson's disease and SDS cannot be made until post mortem examination. While in Parkinson's disease the brunt of damage is primarily in one system, the nigrostristal pathway, in SDS multiple neuronal systems are damaged. Similar to Parkinson's disease, there is a loss of nerve cells and pigment in the part of the brainstem called the substantia nigra, which normally contains the highest concentration of dopamine producing cells. However, in SDS there is additional damage in other nerve cells of the brainstem (inferior olive, dorsal motor nucleus of vagus, locus cervievs, oculomotor nuclei, Edinger-Westphal nucievs and the periaqueductal gray matter), basal ganglia cerebellum and spinal cord. Because of these wide spread pathological changes in multiple areas of the central nervous system, SDS is often referred to as 'multiple system atrophy' (MSA). In addition to SDS, there is other multiple system atrophies which are clinically and pathologically similar to SDS but have less damage to the autonomic nervous system.

Diagnosing SDS/MSA

Symptoms of SDS/MSA

Please consider donating to the SDS/MSA Support Group