Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is a rare and progressive neurological disorder that affects movement, balance, and vision. The condition is caused by damage to certain nerve cells in the brain that control movement and cognitive function. PSP is a type of parkinsonism, a group of disorders that have similar symptoms to Parkinson's disease but are caused by different underlying conditions.
The symptoms of PSP usually begin gradually and worsen over time. Common early symptoms include difficulty with balance and coordination, falls, and stiffness in the neck and limbs. Other symptoms may include slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, eye movement problems, cognitive impairment, and changes in mood and behavior.
The exact cause of PSP is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to abnormal accumulation of a protein called tau in certain areas of the brain. This abnormal protein accumulation can damage nerve cells and impair their ability to communicate with each other, leading to the symptoms of PSP.
There is currently no cure for PSP, and treatment is aimed at managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Medications may be prescribed to help control movement problems, and physical therapy can help maintain mobility and reduce the risk of falls. Speech therapy and swallowing therapy may also be helpful for individuals with PSP who have difficulty with communication or eating. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to alleviate symptoms such as difficulty with eye movement.