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Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

What is Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?

It is an uncommon brain disorder that affects movement, gait, balance, speech, swallowing, vision, mood, behaviour, and thinking.

What causes progressive supranuclear palsy?

The cause is unknown; however, it’s been reported to occur due to damage to multiple cells of the brain, with loss of the myelin sheath covering the nerve cell that helps speed nerve impulse conduction in some nerves and destruction of the entire nerve in other areas.

Can physiotherapy help people with progressive supranuclear palsy?

Yes. Since there is no medication available to treat this condition, patients are often referred to physiotherapy in order to manage their symptoms. Most physiotherapy interventions include an exercise regimen recommended for about 1-2 hours a day, 5 days a week, in order to show any significant improvements.

What are the symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy?

  • Repeated falls

  • Loss of coordination and unsteady walking pattern (gait)

  • Stiffness and rigid movement in the neck, trunk, arms and legs

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Tremor

  • Pain and difficulty with neck movements

  • Slow and stiff movements

  • Vision impairments

  • Inability to look up and down without bending the neck

  • Changes in facial expression

  • Jaw and face jerks or spasms

  • Uncontrollable eye movements

  • Speech difficulties including slurred speech

  • Mild dementia

  • Slow thought processes

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