Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Is An Uncommon Degenerative Neurological Disorder

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy – commonly referred to as “PSP” – is a complex neurological disorder that progressively degrades motor control, cognitive functioning, and can also result in personality changes in affected individuals as well.

PSP is estimated to affect around 4 out of every 100,000 people. Diagnosis usually occurs around the age of 60, as symptoms often evolve at this age; however, you are able to develop symptoms earlier. Although the exact cause of PSP is generally unknown, the symptoms and effects of PSP are all too real. There is currently no cure for PSP, but symptoms can be managed and alleviated with a variety of medications & other forms of intervention.

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An elderly woman braces her hand while suffering from joint pain

What Causes Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?

With further understanding of what exactly PSP is, we can begin to work out what causes this particular neurological disorder.

  • “Progressive” implies that the condition will gradually continue to worsen over time
  • “Supranuclear” is a specific region of the brain that is affected by the disorder
  • “Palsy” is a disorder characterized by uncontrollable tremors and weakness in certain muscles

PSP is a rare neurological condition, and the exact cause of it is actually unknown. The symptoms however, are caused by gradual degradation of brain cells, in the Substantia Nigra. The main theories regarding the cause of PSP include: an abnormal accumulation of tau protein aggregates, random genetic mutations, and also cellular damage caused by free radicals. Until there is more concrete evidence and research, a direct cause can’t be confirmed. Recent research does however hypothesize that the disease could be partially influenced by various genetic and environmental factors.

Speak with our team at BroadView Health Centre today! We can help you with understanding your symptoms and how they might related to progressive supranuclear palsy.


PSP is often difficult to diagnose and requires an in-depth clinical evaluation. It is also common that patients showing symptoms of PSP, are mixed up with clinical assessments of Parkinson’s Disease because of their similarities. However, a thorough clinical evaluation and making reference to a patients medical history should rule out similar conditions. There are currently no laboratory tests that exist to definitely diagnose PSP.

PSP symptoms include:

  • Balance and walking (gait) impairment
  • Muscle rigidity and impaired motor control
  • Trouble controlling eye movement (blurring of vision)
  • Alterations in mood (depression & anxiety)
  • Unusual emotional outbursts (crying or laughing for no reason)
  • Slurred speech & trouble swallowing
  • Sleep disturbances

There is quite a broad range of symptoms associated with the neurological disorder. Although the notion of having a progressively debilitating neurological condition is not something easy to accept, at least you know what you are dealing with and can equip yourself with strategies to cope with PSP and to live your life.

Dr. Josephe O.M Lawrence at Broadview Health Centre

Frequently asked questions

A major side effect from sustaining a concussion injury is cervicogenic pain or headaches, which is focused in the neck area. The challenge for doctors is neck pain does not always point to a problem within the neck, but could be a result of spine or eye misalignment.

  • Concussions cause eye misalignment, leading to head tilt
  • Neck pain is a flag for helping identify contributing issues
  • Our treatment is built to help protect your long-term recovery

A common symptom for those who have suffered concussions and experiencing symptoms of post-concussion syndrome includes fatigue. Fatigue can come from many different factors. However, concussions build fatigue symptoms on a cellular level from the damage sustained in a concussion, interrupting your body’s ability to build and use energy.

  • Fatigue from concussions is a result from calcium leaks
  • Other fatigue could stem from problems with thyroids or anemia
  • Fatigue problems can take some time to fully recover from

Post-concussion syndrome is a complex condition that requires a lot of care and time to fully recover from. You could experience significant fatigue, inability to effectively concentrate, headaches, poor balance, and loss of fine motor control. These and more are the result of concussion damage to three major areas in your body, which all require the care our clinic can provide:

  • Physical damage the cell wall of the brain
  • Damage to the motor systems of the eyes and balance
  • Cervucigenic symptoms such as pain in the neck

Broadview Health Centre offers specialized equipment and technology that helps us diagnose problems and treat them effectively in regards to concussions and other mild-traumatic brain injuries. These tools are a mix of physical tests and electrical monitors working in tandem to give evaluations of the body’s control over balance and motor control, giving us invaluable information on a patents condition by:

  • Evaluating the body’s ability to balance on flat and uneven surfaces
  • Balance when a patents head is turning in various directions
  • Building information on how a concussion effects an individual

Broadview Spine & Health Centre utilized state of the art diagnosis equipment to allow us to gain quality information on how to approach treatment to every patent’s unique symptoms. A Videonystagmography allows us to get a fine-tuned reading of eye movements on video and with graphical representation.

  • Helps us identify where damage is located in the brain
  • Helps develop a customized program for the patient
  • Provides conclusive evidence for brain injury symptoms

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