How did your neurologist differentiate between the 2? I know this isn't an entirely Parkinson's question, but I would like to know if anyone else has been told it might be MSA.
Jenny, I respectfully disagree. MSA is a form of parkinsonism, categorized as atypical Parkinson’s; it starts out looking like PD and is usually diagnosed as such. But the gait will soon look different and it is fatal in an average of 7-10 years in general. Idiopathic Parkinson Disease is not fatal unless there is a complication a person cannot overcome. The saying is you die with Parkinson disease not because of it. All other diseases listed under the umbrella term of parkinsonism are fatal, though the time of life after diagnosis varies. I have MSA-c; my years left are about 3 or 4, though the care I get may extend my life, which can happen. Mostly it’s one day at a time. There’s no treatment like there is for PD, so, as my neurologist says, each time there’s a “fire” it’s put out as quickly as possible until it can’t be put out anymore.
Is he a movement disorder specialist? You really should see one; a good one. You could really check it yourself by getting a decent blood pressure cuff and check your BP while sitting then stand about 3 minutes then check it again while standing. A drop of 20 point drop or more of the top (systolic) number 3 or 4 times a day 5 days in a row can be pretty convincing. Let me clarify; it won’t always drop but more often than not with MSA it will drop, though it is treatable for many. There are other diagnoses that it can be also. If you get no response I’d be looking for a new neurologist. Even if it’s not MSA, it’s time for some new doctoring.
A DATscan won’t diagnose; but it will tell them if you are losing dopamine, which makes it Parkinsonism; if it shows your dopamine is intact then it is not Parkinsonism. When they diagnose Parkinsons with a DATscan, then you develop symptoms not found in PD, they look at those symptoms and try to determine which Parkinsonism you have; then the best answer you can honestly get is likely, the next best is possibly. Only after they autopsy a brain can there be a definite answer, and often they got it wrong, which isn’t to say you didn’t have Parkinsonism, it means you didn’t have the one they thought.
Have you sought another opinion?Putting comments on a chart would be unacceptable to me. As my husband reminds me, I am little short (4’8” ))and puny( 92 lbs) but I AM LOUD! Be your own best advocate.
It’s really both. For instance I can give you all kinds of information on this question as well as on Parkinson’s, but it helps if you ask a question. On the other hand there are people who ihaveb some problem and they don’t know what to do about it and they are looking for a solution. Parkinson is quite complicated and some solutions are trial and error and others may have found the solution . You can post a question about anything you want and you will get answers. Do you have PD or know someone who does? Or are you Simply interested in learning more a bout the disease?
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