Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Diagnosis

Hi, this is Steve’s daughter Deb writing.  

It was very important to my dad to donate his brain for research.  He also wanted us to have a definitive diagnosis – MSA is not typically hereditary, unlike some very similar diseases.  He would have been relieved to know that the brain autopsy results indicated a definite diagnosis of MSA.

Here is the statement we received from the University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank:

The section shows dense a-synuclein-positive glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) throughout in the putamen, brainstem, and cerebellum with lesser amounts in the caudate nucleus and thalamus.  Rare a-synuclein-positive neuronal inclusions and scattered a-synuclein-positive processes were observed.  Gliosis was most evident in regions with abundant GCIs.  The clinical history together with the widespread a-synuclein-positive warrants a definite neuropathological diagnosis of multiple system atrophy.  
A little bit of googling tells us that this is typical for MSA – basically, a specific type of lesion throughout certain parts of the brain.

We are glad to have the diagnosis, but there’s a certain finality to it that is saddening to us.  My mom is doing well, but we all miss my dad every single day.

My dad worked so hard on this blog - it was a way for him to deal with what was happening to him, and to share his experiences so that other people with this disease might benefit.

It’s unlikely that we will add more entries to this blog, but will keep it alive in the hope that it will help other people who are facing MSA.

The very best to all of you.