Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Progressive supranuclear palsy is a rare brain disorder that affects balance, vision, and thought clarity. PSP can be observed when there is a failure to aim the eyes accurately. This causes people with the symptoms to fall backwards frequently and experience dizziness. The disease happens over time slowly building and becoming more severe. PSP can also alter mood and behavior changes, many times causing depression. In 1964 doctors described the disease officially, separating it from Parkinson’s disease. The disease appears to people over the age of 60. There is no known official prevention of the disease or specific treatment that is effective in stopping it. There are various ways to minimize the effects, including physical therapy rest and various medical procedures.

Cause: The specific cause isn’t fully known. It can be traced from variant protein gene from both sides of parents but research is still minimal in finding conclusive evidence.

Forms: There are two different subgroups of PSP: PSP-Richardson (normal type) and PSP-Parkinsonism that is a short term effect of the disease.

Symptoms: PSP is a life-threatening disease that worsens over time. Symptoms include lack of balance, trouble walking, and failure to aim eyes. The eyes are altered causing difficulty in looking down, poor eye contact, and blurriness. PSP can also cause depression and deplete memory, decision making skills, and problem-solving.

Treatment: Occupational therapy is the best known way to deal with the symptoms of PSP. Early diagnosis can help speed up the process of therapy to help with day-to-day activities and mobility. Various Parkinson’s disease medication can help with the symptoms of PSP but they are generally case specific in success.

Helpful Links:


Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Fact Sheet

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