Memo to Signatories, September 2006
from Founder and Chief Scientist Allen Tough
Last month, Cathy and I learned that I do not have Parkinson's Disease. Instead I have a closely related disease called Multiple System Atrophy. It occurs because of cell loss in numerous sites in the central nervous system. Why this cell loss occurs is unknown.
Multiple System Atrophy has certainly impaired my balance. Also, my blood pressure drops severely when I first stand up. As a result of these two things, I fell four times in July. So now, to prevent falls, I always use a walker or hold someone's arm.
MSA patients have a poor prognosis because the disease can progress rapidly and be fatal. No current therapy can reverse or halt its progression. Although the odds are rather grim, I intend to beat them!
I continue to live a happy, busy, productive life. I feel cheerful and not at all sick. Cathy and I enjoy a fairly brisk walk each evening. My priorities for now are my family, my friends and colleagues, the Invitation to ETI, my professional website, and my health. I am delighted that my daughter and son are becoming involved with both websites with the intention of maintaining them for 20 years.
If you want to read more about MSA, you could check out the following websites: eMedicine at http://www.emedicine.com/neuro/topic671.htm or a patients' organization at http://www.shy-drager.org or Merck at http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmg/sec6/ch46/ch46e.jsp or NIH at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/msa_orthostatic_hypotension/msa_orthostatic_hypotension.htm.
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This page last updated 16 June 2007
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