This is my MSA "Buddy" who sits on my desk at work, and on my stall at craft shows.
He is a daily reminder of this debilitating disease and the huge impact it has on families and friends.
Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a neurological condition. It is caused by the shrinking or atrophy of nerve cells in several areas of the brain. This can result in problems with movement, balance and autonomic functions of the body such as bladder and blood pressure control. The condition usually starts between the ages of 50-60 years, but it can affect people younger and older. It affects men and women and currently there is no cure.
MSA is degenerative, which means that unfortunately symptoms are likely to worsen over a period of time. In due course the need to rely on others for help may arise. It is also relatively rare – it affects about 5 people per 100,000 so at any one time there are almost 3,300 people living with MSA in the UK and Ireland.
This means that most people will never have heard of the condition, unless they themselves have already met someone with MSA. Sadly, this is also true for a lot of health professionals which is why the MSA Trust works to raise awareness and increase understanding of MSA throughout the UK and Ireland.