Multiple system atrophy - cerebellar subtype (MSA-C) is a rare disease that causes areas deep in the brain, just above the spinal cord, to shrink (atrophy). MSA-C used to be known as olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA).
MSA-C; Cerebellar multiple system atrophy; Olivopontocerebellar atrophy; OPCA; Olivopontocerebellar degeneration
MSA-C can be passed down through families (inherited form). It can also affect people without a known family history (sporadic form).
Researchers have identified certain genes that are involved in the inherited form of this condition.
The cause of MSA-C in people with the sporadic form is not known. The disease slowly gets worse (is progressive).
MSA-C is slightly more common in men than in women. The average age of onset is 54 years old.
Symptoms of MSA-C tend to start at a younger age in people with the inherited form. The main symptom is clumsiness (ataxia) that slowly gets worse. There may also be problems with balance, slurring of speech, and difficulty walking.
Other symptoms may include:
There is no specific treatment or cure for MSA-C. The aim is to treat the symptoms and prevent complications. This may include:
More information and support for people with MSA-C and their families can be found at:
MSA-C slowly gets worse, and there is no cure. The outlook is generally poor. But, it may be years before someone is very disabled.
Complications of MSA-C include:
Contact your health care provider if you have any symptoms of MSA-C. You will need to be seen by a neurologist. This is a doctor who treats nervous system problems.
Published Date: April 25, 2022
Published By: Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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