Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy Information Page

Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy Information Page


What research is being done?

The NINDS supports and conducts a broad range of basic and clinical research on cerebellar degeneration, including work aimed at finding the cause(s) of OPCA and ways to treat, cure, and, ultimately, prevent the disease. There has been great progress recently since the genes for several of the hereditary forms of OPCA have been found.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy

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What research is being done?

The NINDS supports and conducts a broad range of basic and clinical research on cerebellar degeneration, including work aimed at finding the cause(s) of OPCA and ways to treat, cure, and, ultimately, prevent the disease. There has been great progress recently since the genes for several of the hereditary forms of OPCA have been found.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy

The NINDS supports and conducts a broad range of basic and clinical research on cerebellar degeneration, including work aimed at finding the cause(s) of OPCA and ways to treat, cure, and, ultimately, prevent the disease. There has been great progress recently since the genes for several of the hereditary forms of OPCA have been found.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy

Search Disorders

Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
Definition
Definition

Olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) is a term that describes the degeneration of neurons in specific areas of the brain – the cerebellum, pons, and inferior olives.  OPCA is present in several neurodegenerative syndromes, including inherited and non-inherited forms of ataxia (such as the hereditary spinocerebellar ataxia known as Machado-Joseph disease) and multiple system atrophy (MSA), with which it is primarily associated: Multiple System Atrophy Information Page

OPCA  may also be found in the brains of individuals with prion disorders and inherited metabolic diseases.  The characteristic areas of brain damage that indicate OPCA can be seen by imaging the brain using CT scans or MRI studies. 

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Definition

Olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) is a term that describes the degeneration of neurons in specific areas of the brain – the cerebellum, pons, and inferior olives.  OPCA is present in several neurodegenerative syndromes, including inherited and non-inherited forms of ataxia (such as the hereditary spinocerebellar ataxia known as Machado-Joseph disease) and multiple system atrophy (MSA), with which it is primarily associated: Multiple System Atrophy Information Page

OPCA  may also be found in the brains of individuals with prion disorders and inherited metabolic diseases.  The characteristic areas of brain damage that indicate OPCA can be seen by imaging the brain using CT scans or MRI studies. 

Treatment
Treatment

There is no specific treatment for OPCA. Physicians may try different medications to treat the ataxia, tremor, and rigidity that are associated with the disorder. Other treatments are directed at specific symptoms. Stiffness, spasms, sleep disorders, depression, and tremor may be improved with medication. A physical therapist may be helpful in establishing a routine of exercise and stretching, and in obtaining devices or appliances to assist in walking and other daily activities.

×
Treatment

There is no specific treatment for OPCA. Physicians may try different medications to treat the ataxia, tremor, and rigidity that are associated with the disorder. Other treatments are directed at specific symptoms. Stiffness, spasms, sleep disorders, depression, and tremor may be improved with medication. A physical therapist may be helpful in establishing a routine of exercise and stretching, and in obtaining devices or appliances to assist in walking and other daily activities.

Definition
Definition

Olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) is a term that describes the degeneration of neurons in specific areas of the brain – the cerebellum, pons, and inferior olives.  OPCA is present in several neurodegenerative syndromes, including inherited and non-inherited forms of ataxia (such as the hereditary spinocerebellar ataxia known as Machado-Joseph disease) and multiple system atrophy (MSA), with which it is primarily associated: Multiple System Atrophy Information Page

OPCA  may also be found in the brains of individuals with prion disorders and inherited metabolic diseases.  The characteristic areas of brain damage that indicate OPCA can be seen by imaging the brain using CT scans or MRI studies. 

Treatment
Treatment

There is no specific treatment for OPCA. Physicians may try different medications to treat the ataxia, tremor, and rigidity that are associated with the disorder. Other treatments are directed at specific symptoms. Stiffness, spasms, sleep disorders, depression, and tremor may be improved with medication. A physical therapist may be helpful in establishing a routine of exercise and stretching, and in obtaining devices or appliances to assist in walking and other daily activities.

Prognosis
Prognosis

There is no cure for OPCA. The disorder is slowly progressive with death usually occurring approximately 20 years after onset.

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There is no cure for OPCA. The disorder is slowly progressive with death usually occurring approximately 20 years after onset.

Prognosis
Prognosis

There is no cure for OPCA. The disorder is slowly progressive with death usually occurring approximately 20 years after onset.

Definition

Olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) is a term that describes the degeneration of neurons in specific areas of the brain – the cerebellum, pons, and inferior olives.  OPCA is present in several neurodegenerative syndromes, including inherited and non-inherited forms of ataxia (such as the hereditary spinocerebellar ataxia known as Machado-Joseph disease) and multiple system atrophy (MSA), with which it is primarily associated: Multiple System Atrophy Information Page

OPCA  may also be found in the brains of individuals with prion disorders and inherited metabolic diseases.  The characteristic areas of brain damage that indicate OPCA can be seen by imaging the brain using CT scans or MRI studies. 

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for OPCA. Physicians may try different medications to treat the ataxia, tremor, and rigidity that are associated with the disorder. Other treatments are directed at specific symptoms. Stiffness, spasms, sleep disorders, depression, and tremor may be improved with medication. A physical therapist may be helpful in establishing a routine of exercise and stretching, and in obtaining devices or appliances to assist in walking and other daily activities.

Prognosis

There is no cure for OPCA. The disorder is slowly progressive with death usually occurring approximately 20 years after onset.

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports and conducts a broad range of basic and clinical research on cerebellar degeneration, including work aimed at finding the cause(s) of OPCA and ways to treat, cure, and, ultimately, prevent the disease. There has been great progress recently since the genes for several of the hereditary forms of OPCA have been found.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy

Patient Organizations
National Ataxia Foundation (NAF)
600 Highway 169 South
Suite 1725
Minneapolis
MN
Minneapolis, MN 55426
Tel: 763-553-0020
Publications

Machado-Joseph Disease fact sheet developed by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Patient Organizations