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In 2004, after a year of having tests and meetings with specialists my Dad was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). We were not sure what this meant and had not heard of MSA before. We could find little information about the disease. We then came across the MSA Trust. They were able to provide the details that the NHS couldn't. Unfortunately this is a progressive neurological disease and my Dad's health declined quickly and he passed away in July 2007.
Not many people have heard of MSA and it is (thankfully) a fairly rare disease. However more people are being diagnosed each year. It is about time this disease was known about by the general public. I am doing this challenge to get the word out about MSA and support families caring for loved ones with MSA, please show your support.
The Multiple System Atrophy Trust is the only charity in the UK dedicated to providing support to people whose lives are affected by Multiple System Atrophy, and funding research into finding a cure for this devastating disease. The Trust provides a wide range of services including: specialist nurses who support people with MSA, their carers, family members and friends; telephone support; education for healthcare professionals; an online forum; and regular support groups across the country. The Trust also funds significant research into the causes of Multiple System Atrophy. The Trust receives no statutory funding and relies upon charitable donations entirely to continue its work.
FACTS ON MSA MSA facts
- MSA, or multiple system atrophy, is a progressive, neurological disease
- It is random and indiscriminate, and can affect any one of us
- About 5 people per 100,000 are affected by MSA – at any one time there are at least 3,000 people living with MSA in the UK
- Parkinson’s disease is about 36 times commoner, affecting about 180 per 100,000 in the UK
- MSA usually starts between the ages of 50-60 years, but can affect people younger and older
- MSA does not appear to be hereditary
- It is not infectious or contagious
- There is no connection with the much commoner neurological disease, multiple sclerosis
Nerve cells in affected areas of the brain atrophy or shrink. Cells are damaged in different areas of the brain controlling different body functions. The three areas most often affected are the basal ganglia, cerebellum and brain stem. It is still unclear as to why cells become damaged in people with MSA and further research is needed.
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So please dig deep and donate now.