Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (cont.)
There is no known way to prevent PSP.
PSP is a progressive disease that may leave you vulnerable to a number of life-threatening complications.
- Difficulty swallowing is a choking hazard.
- Resulting eating problems increase the risk for malnutrition.
- Walking difficulties and balance problems increase the risk of falling. Head injuries and other injuries from falls can be serious.
- Most people become unable to walk later in the disease. They become confined to a bed and chair. This immobility increases the risk of infections such as pneumonia and urinary tract infections.
- Immobility also increases the risk of breathing problems.
People with PSP usually need a walking aid, such as a cane or walker, within 3-4 years of the first symptoms of the disease. With good care and attention to medical needs, nutritional needs, and safety, a person with PSP can live many years. The typical lifespan from first appearance of symptoms is about 6-10 years. The main causes of death are infections and breathing problems.
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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