Background: Multiple system atrophy (MSA) rarely begins before the age of 40 and detailed descriptions of young-onset MSA are lacking. Methods: Among 455 patients included in our MSA cohort, four developed disease before the age of 40. We reviewed the medical records of these patients. Results: Case 1 and 2 presented with cerebellar symptoms. Case 1 had clinical features and a course typical of MSA. Case 2 had a rapid course and died 3 years after onset. Case 3 and Case 4 presented with levodopa-responsive parkinsonism. Both developed motor fluctuations and peak-dose limb dyskinesias. Subthalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) resulted in some improvements in motor symptoms, but they became totally dependent within a few years. Discussion: Young-onset MSA is rare but does exist. Young-onset MSA with predominant parkinsonism may closely resemble Parkinson disease at onset and is likely to develop motor complications. Attention should be given to the possibility of young-onset MSA in selecting DBS candidates.
- Multiple system atrophy