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Shy-Drager syndrome
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Shy-Drager syndrome

Shy-Drager syndrome (named after Dr. Milton Shy and Dr. Glenn Drager, who identified this syndrome in 1960) is a rare, progressively degenerative disease of the autonomic nervous system. Its cause is not known, and there is no cure at this time.

Symptoms of this syndrome can include: dizziness or fainting when standing up (known as postural or orthostatic hypotension); incontinence; muscular tremors; impotence; dry mouth and skin; vision problems; trouble regulating body temperature due to abnormal sweating; breathing difficulties; Parkinson-like tremors.

Most people with this syndrome are disabled within 7-8 years of the initial onset of symptoms; few live longer than 15 years afterwards.

Johnny Cash, the country singer, was believed to have Shy-Dager syndrome when he died on September 12, 2003, although that diagnosis was later changed to one of autonomic neuropathy, associated with diabetes.

This syndrome is a member of the class of closely-related degenerative diseases grouped under the term Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).