Symptoms and Signs of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) Symptoms, Stages, Treatment, and Life Expectancy

Doctor's Notes on Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) Symptoms, Stages, Treatment, and Life Expectancy

Progressive supranuclear palsy (also referred to as PSP or Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome) is a rare progressive and degenerative disease of the brain (nerve cells) that affects movement and gait (control of walking). PSP is a rare disease and it usually develops in people aged 60 years or older. The cause of PSP is unknown, though in a very few cases it seems to run in families.

Symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy usually appear slowly and may include fatigue, headaches, joint pains, dizziness, and depression. Over time, additional symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy may include balance problems, stiff or awkward steps while walking, slow movements, frequent falls, visual problems and eye movement problems, behavior or personality changes, memory loss, apathy, slowed thinking, inappropriate laughing or crying, angry or aggressive outbursts, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, mask-like facial expression (no expression), muscle spasms, and in later stages, urinary incontinence.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.