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Non-Drug Therapies

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by a combination of symptoms that affect movement, autonomic function, and other body functions. While there is currently no cure for MSA, various non-drug therapies can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. It’s essential for individuals with MSA to work closely with a multidisciplinary healthcare team to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to their specific needs and symptoms.

Here’s a list of some non-drug therapies commonly used in the management of MSA:


Physical therapy aims to improve mobility, balance, and muscle strength. Exercises tailored to the individual’s needs can help manage symptoms such as gait difficulties and muscle stiffness.

Occupational therapy focuses on assisting individuals in performing daily activities more independently despite physical limitations. It may involve adaptations to the home environment and the use of assistive devices.

Speech therapy can be beneficial for individuals with MSA who experience speech and swallowing difficulties. Speech therapists can provide exercises and techniques to improve communication, swallowing function, and reduce the risk of aspiration.

Various mobility aids such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs can help individuals with MSA maintain mobility and independence.

There are numerous assistive devices available to help with activities of daily living, such as dressing aids, adaptive utensils, and devices to assist with writing or typing.

As respiratory function can be affected in later stages of MSA, respiratory therapy may be recommended to help manage breathing difficulties and improve respiratory function.

Coping with a chronic and progressive condition like MSA can be challenging. Psychotherapy and counseling can provide emotional support, coping strategies, and assistance in managing depression or anxiety that may arise.

A registered dietitian can provide guidance on maintaining a balanced diet and managing swallowing difficulties to ensure adequate nutrition and hydration.

Strategies to manage orthostatic hypotension, such as increasing salt intake, wearing compression stockings, or sleeping with the head in an elevated position may be recommended.

Techniques such as yoga, tai chi, and mindfulness meditation may help manage stress, improve relaxation, and enhance overall well-being.