Congratulations to Drs. Matthew Burns and Nikolaus McFarland on the publication of “Current Management and Emerging Therapies in Multiple System Atrophy,” in the August edition of Neurotherapeutics.
Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease variably associated with motor, nonmotor, and autonomic symptoms, resulting from putaminal and cerebellar degeneration and associated with glial cytoplasmic inclusions enriched with α-synuclein in oligodendrocytes and neurons. Although symptomatic treatment of MSA can provide significant improvements in quality of life, the benefit is often partial, limited by adverse effects, and fails to treat the underlying cause. Consistent with the multisystem nature of the disease and evidence that motor symptoms, autonomic failure, and depression drive patient assessments of quality of life, treatment is best achieved through a coordinated multidisciplinary approach driven by the patient’s priorities and goals of care. Research into disease-modifying therapies is ongoing with a particular focus on synuclein-targeted therapies among others. This review focuses on both current management and emerging therapies for this devastating disease.