Chief Carr suffered from MSA, official says

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - A spokesperson for the Charleston Fire Department says Chief Thomas Carr passed away after complications from his continued battle with Multiple System Atrophy, a Parkinsonian Syndrome.

Dr. Gonzalo Revuelta is the Assistant Professor of Neurology at MUSC. He says MSA is a degenerative neurological disorder.

"MSA is a much more aggressive form of Parkinson's, called a Parkinson's Plus or atypical Parkinsonian syndrome. There is no effective treatment for MSA as compared to PD," he said in a message earlier Thursday.

The disease can have similar symptoms to Parkinson's which can make diagnosis difficult.

"They can move slowly. They can feel stiff or rigid, or they can develop tremors or some difficulty walking as well," Dr. Revuelta said.

He also said patients will experience changes in the volume of their voice and kind of slowing down generally.

While MSA affects the brain like Parkinson's, it does not respond to medications as well.

"Patients no longer die of Parkinson's disease itself, but of complications of advanced disease," he said.