Striatonigral Degeneration

On this page

What is striatonigral degeneration?

Striatonigral degeneration is a neurological disorder caused by a disruption in the connection between two areas of the brain that work together to enable balance and movement—the striatum and the substantia nigra. 

Striatonigral degeneration is a type of multiple system atrophy (MSA). Symptoms of the disorder resemble some of those seen in Parkinson's disease, including:

  • Rigidity
  • Instability
  • Impaired speech
  • Slow movements

There is no cure for striatonigral degeneration, and treatments for the disorder have variable success. Treatments used for Parkinson's disease are recommended. However, unlike Parkinson's disease, striatonigral degeneration is not responsive to levodopa. Dopamine and anticholinergics provide some benefit. Generally, treatment is reevaluated as the disorder progresses. Striatonigral degeneration progresses slowly. Some patients may have an average life expectancy.

Learn About Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are studies that allow us to learn more about disorders and improve care. They can help connect patients with new and upcoming treatment options.

How can I or my loved one help improve care for people with striatonigral degeneration?

Consider participating in a clinical trial so clinicians and scientists can learn more about striatonigral degeneration and related disorders. Clinical research uses human volunteers to help researchers learn more about a disorder and perhaps find better ways to safely detect, treat, or prevent disease.

All types of volunteers are needed—those who are healthy or may have an illness or disease—of all different ages, sexes, races, and ethnicities to ensure that study results apply to as many people as possible, and that treatments will be safe and effective for everyone who will use them.

For information about participating in clinical research visit NIH Clinical Research Trials and You. Learn about clinical trials currently looking for people with striatonigral degeneration at

Where can I find more information about striatonigral degeneration?

Information may be available from the following organizations and resources:

Learn about related topics

Order publications from the NINDS Catalog
The NINDS Publication Catalog offers printed materials on neurological disorders for patients, health professionals, and the general public. All materials are free of charge, and a downloadable PDF version is also available for most publications.