ABSTRACT: Diagnostic criteria for multiple system atrophy are focused on motor manifestations of the disease, in particular ataxia and parkinsonism, but these criteria often cannot detect the early stages. Non-motor symptoms and signs of multiple system atrophy often precede the onset of classic motor manifestations, and this prodromal phase is estimated to last from several months to years. Autonomic failure, sleep problems, and respiratory disturbances are well known symptoms of established multiple system atrophy and, when presenting early and preceding ataxia or parkinsonism, should be regarded as evidence of premotor multiple system atrophy. An early and accurate diagnosis is becoming increasingly important as new neuroprotective agents are developed.
The Lancet Neurology 04/2012; 11(4):361-8. · 23.46 Impact Factor