Progressive Supranuclear Palsy – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare and progressive brain disorder that may alter a patient’s gait (control of walking) and balance, mood and behavior, movement, speech, swallowing, thinking, and vision.

The disorder occurs due to damage to nerve cells in the brain. PSP’s name means that it worsens (“progressive) and makes patients weak (“palsy”) as it damages certain parts of the brain above nuclei or nerve cell clusters (“supranuclear”). These nuclei control eye movements.

Although estimates vary, about three to six in every 100,000 people around the world, or about 20,000 Americans, have PSP. The condition is much less common than Parkinson’s disease.

The symptoms of PSP start manifesting when individuals are older than 60. However, the symptoms can still be experienced at an earlier age. More men develop PSP compared to women.

PSP was first described as a distinct disorder in 1964 when three scientists published a paper that revealed how the condition was different from Parkinson’s disease. Progressive supranuclear palsy is sometimes called Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome after the scientists who defined the disorder.

Known side effects of progressive supranuclear palsy

The side effects of progressive supranuclear palsy usually include:

  • Changes in behavior, like irritability or apathy/a lack of interest
  • Dysphagia/difficulty swallowing
  • The inability to control eye and eyelid movement (e.g., focusing on certain objects or looking up or down at an object)
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Problems with balance and mobility, which results in frequent falls
  • Quiet, slow, or slurred speech
  • Slowness of thought and some memory problems

Age is currently the only identified risk factor linked to progressive supranuclear palsy. Individuals aged 60 or older usually develop the condition.

Body systems harmed by progressive supranuclear palsy

Progressive supranuclear palsy may cause the following complications:

  • Instability while walking – This can cause frequent falls, which may result in serious injuries.
  • Difficulty performing tasks that require hand-eye coordination.
  • Disturbed sleep.
  • Swallowing difficulties – This may cause choking or the inhalation of food into the airways, which may result in aspiration pneumonia.
  • Disregard for personal safety – This can be caused by the changes in behavior often observed among patients with PSP. This can increase the risk of fatal accidents.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent progressive supranuclear palsy

While there are currently no known methods that can prevent progressive supranuclear palsy, the following foods or nutrients can help address its side effects:

  • Avocado – Avocados are full of monounsaturated fats that protect brain cells. Avocado oil can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
  • Coconut oil – Coconut oil can enhance the ability of the brain’s neurons to use energy while also decreasing the production of harmful free radicals. Additionally, it contains saturated fat which is crucial for the integrity and function of brain cell membranes.
  • Dandelion greens – Dandelion greens contain prebiotic fiber, a type of fiber that can nurture the growth of gut bacteria which supports brain growth.
  • Kale – Low in calories, kale is full of vitamins A, C, and K. Kale also contains iron and potassium.
  • Olive oil – Olive oil is full of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that can protect the brain.
  • Turmeric – This spice can help active parts of the DNA that help minimize inflammation.
  • Wild salmon – Wild salmon is rich in the omega-3 oil docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA helps maintain brain cell health, and it also stimulates the growth of brain cells in the brain’s memory center.

Treatments, management plans for progressive supranuclear palsy

Progressive supranuclear palsy is incurable, but treatment aims to relieve or manage the side effects of the disorder. Treatment for the symptoms of PSP may include:

  • Feeding tubes – These can help manage dysphagia and prevent dehydration or malnutrition.
  • Medication – Drugs can help improve balance, stiffness, and other side effects.
  • Occupational therapy – This can help improve the skills required for normal activities.
  • Physiotherapy – This can help address movement and balance difficulties.
  • Special eyeglasses – Special eyeglasses can address vision problems.
  • Speech and language therapy – This can help patients overcome speech or swallowing problems.

Where to learn more

Summary

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare and progressive brain disorder that may alter a patient’s gait (control of walking) and balance, mood and behavior, movement, speech, swallowing, thinking, and vision.

The side effects of progressive supranuclear palsy usually include muscle stiffness and problems with balance and mobility.

Progressive supranuclear palsy may cause complications like difficulty walking and disturbed sleep.

Avocado, coconut oil, and kale are some of the foods that can help address the side effects of the disorder.

Progressive supranuclear palsy is incurable, but treatment like occupational therapy or physiotherapy aims to relieve or manage the side effects of the disorder.

Sources include

NINDS.NIH.gov

NHS.uk

DoveMed.com

MindBodyGreen.com



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