Long Logo (1) is proud to support the work of the Multiple System Atrophy Trust

Courage in Adversity

Kenneth More passed away in July of 1982 having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. It is now very likely that this was Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), due in part to the age of onset and the speed at which the condition progressed.

What is MSA?

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurological disorder that affects adult men and women. It is caused by degeneration or atrophy (shrinking) of nerve cells in several (or multiple) areas of the brain. This can result in problems with multiple bodily functions such as speech, movement, balance and blood pressure control.

This means that cells are damaged in areas of the brain which control different body functions. The three areas most often affected are the basal ganglia (Parkinson’s), cerebellum (ataxia) and brain stem (autonomic).

Broken down MSA stands for:

Multiple – More than one

System – Brain structures that control different functions

Atrophy – Cell shrinkage and loss

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How common is MSA?

Until recently MSA was thought to be a very rare disease. As we learn more about the disease, it has become easier to recognise and diagnose, though for many people it can still take several years to diagnose. Recent research suggests it affects about 5 people per 100,000 so that at any one time there are almost 3,300 people living with MSA in the UK. Parkinson’s disease is about 45 times more common, affecting about 200 per 100,000 in the UK.

Who gets MSA?

MSA usually starts between the ages of 50-60 years, but it can affect people younger and older. It affects men and women. MSA does not appear to be hereditary although current research is examining whether or not there is a genetic predisposition to develop the disease. The importance of environmental factors is not clear and there is still much to understand about MSA. We do know it is not infectious or contagious and has no connection with the much more common neurological disease, multiple sclerosis (MS).

MSA Trust

The Multiple System Atrophy Trust

The Multiple System Atrophy Trust is the only charity in the UK dedicated solely to supporting people whose lives are affected by MSA – a rare neurological disease with no known cause or cure. It is important to remember that no two people are the same and every person’s experience of MSA will be different. The MSA Trust aims to support each person affected by MSA throughout their journey.

The MSA Trust receives no Government support and relies entirely on charitable donations to fund their support services as well as research into finding the cause and cure for Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).

Please help the Trust to continue its vital research and services, supporting over 60 families each week, throughout the UK and Ireland.