Responsiveness of UMSARS and other clinical measures in a longitudinal structured care clinic for multiple system atrophy

Elisabeth Golden, Morgan McCreary, Steven Vernino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: As understanding of multiple system atrophy (MSA) pathophysiology improves, clinical trials of disease-modifying therapies are starting. Outcome measures responsive to disease progression will be critical, but the United MSA Rating Scale (UMSARS) has limitations. The MSA multidisciplinary clinic at the University of Texas Southwestern is a longitudinal clinic with structured assessments performed at fixed time intervals. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of clinical measures in assessing MSA progression over time. Methods: Data from 73 subjects with clinically diagnosed MSA were analyzed using repeated measures correlation models. Observations were made every 4 months, with up to 3 years of data included for each patient. Results: UMSARS-I and UMSARS-II correlated positively with the MSA Quality of Life (QOL) scale. The rate of change was 3.12 points per year (ppy) for UMSARS-I and 5.55 ppy for UMSARS-II. Some individual UMSARS questions contributed more significantly than others to overall UMSARS rate of change. Based on this finding, and using repeated measures correlations between question combinations and QOL, an optimization of UMSARS parts I and II was curated. The amended UMSARS-I included 8 of the 12 subquestions, and the amended UMSARS-II included 10 of the 14 subquestions. Conclusions: Data from a longitudinal MSA clinic allows better characterization of the performance of UMSARS as a clinical outcome measure. A curated set of UMSARS questions appears more responsive to change and accounts for correlation with QOL, and could be the starting point for an improved MSA outcome measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Clinical scales
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Natural history
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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