March 2021: Multiple System Atrophy Awareness Month

WHEREAS, multiple system atrophy is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by the degeneration or atrophy of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which can result in motor impairments, limited mobility, and/or loss of muscle coordination; and,


WHEREAS, the symptoms of this rapidly advancing disease can occur in any combination and may include, but is not limited to, loss of balance and coordination, tremors or stiffness, fainting due to low blood pressure, swallowing difficulties, loss of bladder control, and involuntary sighing or gasping; and, 


WHEREAS, signs and symptoms of multiple system atrophy may be similar to those seen in Parkinson's Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); and,


WHEREAS, multiple system atrophy generally develops in men and women in their 50's and 60's, advances rapidly with the progressive loss of motor skills, and eventually leads to bed confinement; and,


WHEREAS, people typically live five to ten years after symptoms first appear; and,


WHEREAS, there is currently no cure for multiple system atrophy; and,


WHEREAS, the current lack of awareness of multiple system atrophy may lead to misdiagnosis and mistreatment;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of the State of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2021 as Multiple System Atrophy Awareness Month in Michigan.