Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, also called Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome, is an uncommon brain disorder that causes serious problems with walking, balance and eye movements. The disorder results from deterioration of cells in areas of your brain that control body movement and thinking.

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy worsens over time and can lead to life-threatening complications, such as pneumonia and swallowing problems. There’s no cure for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, so treatment focuses on managing the signs and symptoms.

Although there is no cure for progressive supranuclear palsy, treatments are available to help ease symptoms of the disorder. The options include:

  • Parkinson’s disease medications, which increase levels of a brain chemical involved in smooth, controlled muscle movements (dopamine). The effectiveness of these medications is limited and usually temporary, lasting about two to three years.
  • Botulinum toxin type A (Botox), which may be injected in small doses into the muscles around your eyes. Botox blocks the chemical signals that cause muscles to contract, which can improve eyelid spasms.
  • Eyeglasses with bifocal or prism lenses, which may help ease problems with looking downward.
  • Speech and swallowing evaluations, to help you learn safer swallowing techniques.
  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy, to improve balance.

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