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Is PSP A Terminal Illness?


Although PSP isn’t fatal, symptoms do continue to worsen and it can’t be cured. Complications that result from worsening symptoms, such as pneumonia (from breathing in food particles while choking during eating), can be life threatening.

Is PSP a form of Parkinson’s?

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is not Parkinson’s disease (PD), but is a Parkinsonian-like syndrome. PSP is a rare brain disorder that causes serious and progressive problems with gait and balance, as well as eye movement and thinking problems.

What are the early signs of PSP?

The initial symptoms of PSP can include:

  • sudden loss of balance when walking that usually results in repeated falls, often backwards.
  • muscle stiffness, particularly in the neck.
  • extreme tiredness.
  • changes in personality, such as irritability, apathy (lack of interest) and mood swings.

What part of the brain is affected by PSP?

It involves damage to many cells of the brain. Many areas are affected, including the part of the brainstem where cells that control eye movement are located. The area of the brain that controls steadiness when you walk is also affected. The frontal lobes of the brain are also affected, leading to personality changes.

What is the last stage of PSP?

The final stages of PSP are usually dominated by an increasingly severe dysarthria and dysphagia. These features are usually described as being part of a pseudo-bulbar palsy, as brisk jaw and facial jerks may be present.

Do PSP patients sleep a lot?

Poor sleep is common with PSP. It takes longer for patients to fall asleep, and they wake more frequently during the night, resulting in a shorter time asleep. Neuroanatomical areas affected in PSP are also the same areas of the brain that house the sleep/wake regulation system.

Is PSP inherited?

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is usually sporadic (not inherited ), but in rare cases it can be inherited. While the genetic cause of PSP not usually known, it can be caused by a mutation in a gene called MAPT.


How fast does PSP progress?

PSP typically progresses to death in 5 to 7 years,1 with Richardson syndrome having the fastest rate of progression.

How do I prevent my PSP?

PSP can’t be prevented. The symptoms, however, can be managed to improve your quality of life.

How long do PSP patients live?

Help from a speech and language therapist at an early stage can lower this risk for as long as possible. As a result of these complications, the average life expectancy for someone with PSP is around 6 or 7 years from when their symptoms start.

What are the stages of PSP disease?

The four stages are:

  • Early stage.
  • Mid stage.
  • Advanced stage.
  • End of life stage.

Is coughing a symptom of PSP?

Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties are common in PSP and can occur fairly soon after diagnosis. Coughing when eating or drinking is an indication that food or drink has ‘gone down the wrong way’ into the airway. If this occurs regularly, it can lead to chest infections or pneumonia.

Does PSP cause dementia?

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a condition that causes both dementia and problems with movement. It is a progressive condition that mainly affects people aged over 60.

Is there a cure for PSP?

There’s currently no cure for progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and no treatment to slow it down, but there are lots of things that can be done to help manage the symptoms. As PSP can affect many different areas of your health, you’ll be cared for by a team of health and social care professionals working together.

Can you drive with PSP?

Can I drive? Depending on your symptoms, you may be able to continue driving for a while with PSP or CBD. However, you are legally required to disclose your diagnosis to the DVLA and your insurer. You may need to be assessed at a driving centre if you wish to continue to drive.

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