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The pathogenesis of multiple system atrophy: Past, present, and future

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Evelyn Jaros, Professor David Burn


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Multiple system atrophy is a sporadic, adult-onset neurodegenerative disease of unknown etiology. The condition may be unique among neurodegenerative diseases by the prominent, if not primary, role played by the oligodendroglial cell in the pathogenetic process. Recent developments in our understanding of multiple system atrophy have included the detection of glial cytoplasmic inclusions and alpha-synuclein accumulation in these inclusions. The latter finding links multiple system atrophy as an "alpha-synucleinopathy'' to Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. This article reviews recent important findings of potential relevance to the pathogenesis of multiple system atrophy. We also speculate on areas in which further advances may be made to progress our understanding of this devastating condition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jaros E, Burn DJ

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Movement Disorders

Year: 2000

Volume: 15

Issue: 5

Pages: 784-788

ISSN (print): 0885-3185

ISSN (electronic): 1531-8257


DOI: 10.1002/1531-8257(200009)15:5<784::AID-MDS1004>3.0.CO;2-P