What's the cause?

The cause of multiple system atrophy is not well understood.

It doesnt appear to be inherited there's no evidence that an affected person's children will develop it.

However, it's possible that bothgenetic and environmental factors contribute to the disease, soscientists are currently researching whether there isa genetic tendency (predisposition) to develop it.

The brain cells of a person with multiple system atrophy contain misfoldedalpha-synuclein protein (of which there is lots of in the brain). It's thought that a build-up of abnormalalpha-synuclein is responsible for the loss of brain cells.

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Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018