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People who struggle with Parkinson’s disease may be misdiagnosed with multiple system atrophy

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a degenerative neurological disorder that affects the involuntary functions of the body, including blood pressure, breathing, bladder function, and motor control.

MSA currently occurs in 15,000 to 50,000 people in the United States.

Because the symptoms of this condition are very similar to those of Parkinson's disease, individuals with the latter may be misdiagnosed with multiple system atrophy.

For this reason, it is essential to visit multiple specialists in order to receive a correct and accurate diagnosis if you have a history of paraquat exposure - which is known to cause Parkinson's disease. There is actually a parkinsonian type of multiple system atrophy, which only makes assigning the right diagnosis more challenging for medical professionals.

What are the symptoms of multiple system atrophy?

The parkinsonian type of multiple system atrophy is the most common one and people who suffer from it experience symptoms such as:

  • rigid muscles
  • difficulty bending the arms and legs
  • slow movement
  • tremors
  • problems with posture and balance

Nevertheless, if you have parkinsonian multiple system atrophy, you cannot recover financial compensation from the paraquat manufacturers, as you must have a Parkinson's disease diagnosis. Therefore, you need to make sure you have the correct diagnosis by seeking a second and even a third opinion from medical specialists.

What is the difference between multiple system atrophy and Parkinson's disease?

The major difference between multiple system atrophy and Parkinson's disease is that the nerve destruction in the latter occurs in the areas of the brain that control movement, whereas the former affects the autonomic nervous system.

Consequently, the patient will need to undergo a neurological exam in order to receive a correct diagnosis. There are numerous accurate imaging tests, such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, that can pinpoint the area of the brain that causes the symptoms of the patient.

Additionally, medical researchers have recently found a blood test that can identify a specific protein present in the blood of people with Parkinson's disease patients but not in multiple system atrophy patients. This protein, known as alpha-synuclein, is formed in nerve cells of the brain and can be detected in the blood.

It is one of the proteins that accumulate and damages the brains of people with both multiple system atrophy and Parkinson's disease. Nonetheless, alpha-synuclein collects in different cells of the brain, depending on which disease the patient suffers from.

File a paraquat claim with the help of our professional team

With over 35 years of experience in evaluating claims, the team of experts at Atraxia Law will gladly help you determine whether you qualify to file a claim for paraquat exposure with the manufacturers of the herbicide if you struggle with Parkinson's disease.

Most of our clients are in great physical and emotional distress, so do not hesitate to contact us and we will promptly answer your questions.