Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)


This disorder happens when the brain cells that control important body and mind functions die. With it, you have problems with movements, thinking and emotions. It leads to serious issues, and it gets worse over time.


What causes it? Well, we don't know the exact cause. It happens when cells in a few parts of the brain, including the brain stem, begin to die. This may be linked to an abnormal buildup of clumps of protein in these cells. Genetics may play a role for some people. But you can develop this disorder even with no family history. More research is needed to find out what causes this disorder.


What are the symptoms? It may begin with walking problems. You may walk stiffly and slowly, and you may fall a lot. You may have trouble controlling your eye movements and your eyelids. You may have problems with swallowing. You can have changes in your mood, behavior and personality. It may be hard for you to think clearly, solve problems, and find the right words. You may have memory problems. Ask your doctor for a full list of symptoms.


How do we treat PSP? There is no cure for this disorder, and we can't slow its progression. But we can help manage the symptoms. You may benefit from things like walking aids, special glasses and exercise. Antidepressant medications may help. You may benefit from surgery to implant a feeding tube, or to treat part of your brain. A doctor will create a plan that's right for you.