New NIH Pamphlet on MSA (November 2014)

Someone on the ShyDrager Yahoo!Group recently posted a link to the NIH pamphlet on MSA. Though the link is the same as before, the pamphlet itself has been updated. The date on the current pamphlet is November 2014. The first version of this pamphlet was written in 2009.

The main changes between the 2009 version and the 2014 version are in the diagnosis section and the research section. The diagnosis section has a new paragraph about a DaTscan, which is a kind of PET scan that assess dopamine transporter function in a specific part of the brain. The pamphlet notes that “this test cannot differentiate between MSA and Parkinson’s disease.” I wish the pamphlet had said that not everyone with MSA will have reduced function of this transporter in this specific area of the brain.

In the research section, there’s a discussion of alpha-synuclein research:

“Recent studies have demonstrated that the alpha-synuclein taken from brain tissue of patients with MSA is a potent inducer of alpha-synuclein clumping when injected into the brain of experimental animals. … Research in animal models may determine if drugs that reduce the abnormal alpha-synuclein accumulation might be promising treatments for MSA.”

There’s also a note in the research section about the failed rifampicin trial. And the comment that “MSA is one of the diseases being studied as part of the NINDS Parkinson’s Disease Biomarkers Program.”

There’s a small change in the treatment section. The pamphlet notes that the FDA approved the medication droxidopa in 2014.

Here’s a link to the pamphlet:

Multiple System Atrophy
Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health
November 2014
NIH Publication No. 15-5597