Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is progressive neurological disorder of unknown origin that causes problems with walking, balance, speech, swallowing, sleep disturbances, and personality changes including depression and apathy. The hallmark features of progressive supranuclear palsy are weakness of eye muscles and an inability to aim the eyes in a downward gaze. This disorder is caused by dysfunction in the area of the brain that controls eye movements.
Progressive supranuclear palsy most often occurs in persons in their 60s. More men than women are affected. The rate of progression and symptoms vary from person to person.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis of progressive supranuclear palsy is based on physical and neurological examination, including identification of early gait instability and difficulty moving the eyes. There is no effective treatment for progressive supranuclear palsy. Medication used to treat Parkinson's disease may be used, but their effect is usually temporary. Other types of treatment include weighted walking aids, prism glasses, and physical and occupational therapy to address quality of life and functional issues.
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