multiple system atrophy
a nonhereditary, neurodegenerative disease of unknown cause, characterized clinically by the development of parkinsonism, ataxia, autonomic failure, or pyramidal track signs, in various combinations. Pathologically there are nerve cell loss, gliosis, and the accumulation of abnormal tubular structures in the cytoplasm and nucleus of oligodendrocytes and neurons in the basal ganglion, cerebellum, and intermediolateral columns of the spinal cord; can present as predominantly parkinsonism, as predominantly ataxia, or as a combination of parkinsonism, ataxia, and autonomic failure; it is a relatively rapidly progressive and fatal disorder. Labeled MSA-P when parkinsonism predominates but MSA-C, when cerebellar ataxia predominates.
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