Annual SDS/MSA Support Group Patient/Caregiver Meeting to be Held in Dallas, TX on Oct. 28 & 29, 2011

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The annual SDS/MSA Support Group meeting brings patients, caregivers and physicians affected by Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) together to educate, share and support one another. This year’s meeting hosted by Dr. Steve Vernino, Professor, Neurology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Vernino is a respected neurologist and will be an excellent host. Dallas, TX is a convenient city to get to for MSA patients and caregivers from around the country.

On Friday and Saturday, October 28-29, 2011 the SDS/MSA Support Group will hold its annual patient/caregiver meeting in Dallas TX. This year’s meeting will be hosted by Dr. Steve Vernino, Professor, Neurology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The meeting will take place at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel. The SDS/MSA Support Group, a nonprofit organization located in the United States is working in concert with “Miracles for MSA” to further enhance national awareness and to raise money for awareness, education and research. The annual meeting is the Group’s hallmark educational event.

“We are very excited about this year’s meeting,” stated Judy Biedenharn, co-president of the SDS/MSA Support Group. “Dr. Vernino is an excellent host and Dallas, TX is a convenient city to get to for our patients and caregivers. We have outstanding medical presentations planned from Dr. Vernino; Dr. David Robertson, Professor of neurology, Vanderbilt University; Dr. Shilpa Chitnis, Associate professor of neurology and neurotherapeutics, UT Southwestern, section of movement disorders; Dr. Pravin Khemani, Assistant professor, UT Southwestern section of movement disorders; and Jeannine Marmaduke, Speech and voice therapist, UT Southwestern Medical Center.”

“This year’s meeting will be videotaped and we plan to create many educational enduring materials. In addition to the education, a big benefit of our annual meeting is the social opportunity it provides. Whether you are a patient or a caregiver MSA can be a very confining condition. Attending this meeting is a social outlet that allows patients to meet patients and caregivers to meet caregivers. Sharing stories and experiences, both good and bad, can be a tremendous help. Despite the seriousness of this disorder we even have a few laughs. We would also like to thank our corporate sponsor, Chelsea Therapeutics.”

The agenda for this year’s meeting includes a social event on Friday evening, medical presentations regarding MSA on Saturday morning, and separate patient and caregiver sessions on Saturday afternoon. Each presenter has an important aspect of MSA to discuss:

  •     Dr. Vernino - management of autonomic symptoms
  •     Dr. Shilpa Chitnis - Introduction to MSA, the different faces of the disease
  •     Dr. Pravin Khemani - Management of motor manifestations of MSA
  •     Dr. Robertson - Future of treatments for MSA
  •     Jeannine Marmaduke - Speach and voice therapy for MSA patients

Registration for the event is free and can be done by contact Judy Biedenharn at 614-668-9513 or by email at jbiedenharn(at)shy-drager(dot)org. Attendees must reserve and pay for their own hotel room.

The meeting will take place at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel. To reserve a room:

  •     Call the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel at (800) 345-5251.
  •     Use discount code: SDS/MSA to receive a discounted rate.

About Multiple System Atrophy:
According to the National Institutes of Health, "Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by symptoms of autonomic nervous system failure. MSA affects both men and women primarily in their 50s. The disease tends to advance rapidly over the course of five to 10 years, with progressive loss of motor skills, eventual confinement to bed, and death. There is no remission from the disease. There is currently no cure.”

MSA symptoms can occur in any combination, from loss of balance and coordination, fainting and dizziness due to neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (severe low blood pressure), bladder and bowel issues, speech and swallowing difficulties, sleep disturbances, breathing problems, and rigidity and tremors similar to Parkinson’s disease or ALS. Approximately 15,000 U.S. patients are diagnosed with MSA (formerly known as Shy-Drager Syndrome) and another 35,000 Americans are believed to be undiagnosed. For more details about Multiple System Atrophy please see the National Institutes of Health MSA factsheet.

About the SDS/MSA Support Group:
The SDS/MSA Support Group is a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to fostering an ongoing relationship between patients, caregivers, their family members, and medical professionals. The Support Group is one of the most sought-after resources for those dealing with the disease. Services and education offered by the group include an annual patient/caregiver national meeting (the next meeting is scheduled in Dallas, TX on October 28-29, 2011), webinars, educational materials and a toll free hotline (1-866-737-5999) designed to offer much needed emotional support for patients and caregivers. For more information please contact Vera James at 1-866-737-5999 or visit the official SDS/MSA Support Group website. To make a donation please visit our website or send a check to:

SDS/MSA Support Group
8311 Brier Creek Parkway
Suite 105-434
Raleigh, NC 27617

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Judy Biedenharn
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