Shy drager syndrome treatment options

The combination of Parkinsonism with autonomic failure called shy drager syndrome. In 1996, shy drager syndrome came into sub type of multiple system atrophy. At this article we will explain early symptoms, major causes and shy drager syndrome treatment options.

Degeneration is more widespread than idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, and the disappointing response to levodopra and other anti-parkinsonian drugs is because of degeneration of post-synaptic neurons in basal ganglia. A degenerative disorder of nervous system affects different parts of nervous system, especially those that control motor functions also known as involuntary functions.

They control the movements and body balance. It also controls blood pressure, bowel and bladder system. Shy drager syndrome causes postural hypotension in which patient’s blood pressure remain low and they faint or tremor after changing position. This is progressive disease therefore; patients have very less life expectancy. Mostly after diagnosis, they can live up to years or even less.

Major Causes

Nerve disorder in Shy Drager (MSA) disease is still unknown. There are many diseases, genetic factor is involved but in most cause is still unknown. The clinical features depend on the structures, which are affected. Dementia is cause for cerebral cortex degeneration. Most common kind is Alzheimer. Degeneration of basal ganglia results in movement disorder, which may manifest as either too little or too much movement, depending on the structure involved.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for it are being male with middle age or elder. Alcoholics and non-smokers are also at risk.

Early Symptoms

Involuntary nerves symptoms usually happen first. Later Parkinson’s disease symptom related motor problems might develop.

Following are the symptoms related to SDS are:

  • Dizziness
  • Faint while changing position or standing up
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Swelling of neck lymph nodes
  • Pain in back and shoulders
  • Neck ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Impotence
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urgency of urination
  • Breathing problem
  • Sleep apnea
  • Fever
  • Vision problems with uncontrolled eye movement
  • Ear ache
  • Rash and red spots on skin
  • Bronze coloured skin
  • Speech problem
  • Coordination problem
  • Swallowing problem
  • Imbalance
  • Tremors
  • Muscles stiffness
  • dementia


Doctor requires medical history and they examine body functions. It is very difficult to diagnose this disease. There are especial test for shy drager syndrome, but different test help in identifying it.

For diagnosis following tests are done:

  • Complete Blood Test
    It measures the blood chemistry along with electrolytes.
  • EMG- Electromyogram
    It measures the electrical activity of muscles. It records its activity as rest and contraction. It also observes the damages of muscles.
  • Tilt-table test
    It measures blood pressure when body change its position.
  • Sleep studies
    It observes the sleep apnea, which is sleep disorder.
  • Barium Swallow
    Shy-Drager Syndrome patients take this test to assess problem with swallowing. They eat a barium substance and X-ray is done for the upper digestive tract.

Treatment options

There are no special Shy drager syndome treatment. 24-hour bed rest recommended to the patient for quick relief. For this disease, it is important to consult doctor for proper treatment. Doctors help to prevent the blood pressure problems. There are therapies to control different symptoms. Few treatments that might be given are as


There are medicines given to maintain blood pressure. They are given drugs such as fluorine F, Indocid, Milodrine and beta-blockers. Patients are given constipation softeners. They are given treatment for urinary problems. Impotence treatment through medication is provided to patients. Impotence drugs can cause blood pressure drop causing dizziness.


A self-care guideline includes diet, exercise and modified lifestyle. Increase the intake of salt and other fluids to keep blood pressure. Drinking 12 ounces of water early morning can reduce the risk of MAS. Include caffeine high beverages. Enjoy small and frequent meals. Eat soft food. Avoid straining. Say no to alcohol. Eat fiber. Exercise regularly.

Patients for an easy can carry walker to help in walk and avoid the falls and to main the gait. Patients must walk slowly and stand up slowly. They must do pumping on ankle for blood circulation. Raised head sleep to prevent the blood pressure drop. Change position or stand up slowly. Avoid warm n hot places.

To avoid the side effects and to manage few symptoms, patients must undergo therapies to help dealing with speech, and swallowing problems. To help with daily activities they must consult the occupational therapist. Use feeding tubes for swallowing problem. For impotence, doctors can treat problem with penile implantation. For urinary problems, doctors can provide intermittent catheterization.

Consult doctors before taking any medicine for shy drager syndrome treatment. Patients and their family member must join the support groups. Only doctors can resolve patients with severe problems with breathing as they can advice tracheotomy. It usually treats the last resort with hole in the windpipe.

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