health care  
 
All about progressive supranuclear palsy causes of progressive supranuclear palsy symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy diagnosis of progressive supranuclear palsy treatment for progressive supranuclear palsy

What causes progressive supranuclear palsy?

Progressive supranuclear palsy is a disorder characterized by symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease (including unsteady gait, stiff movements, and mild dementia). Other similar disorders include dysfunction of the cerebellum, multiple system atrophy, and senile dementia (Alzheimer's type). The cause of the damage to the brain cells in this condition is unknown, but the disease is degenerative (gets worse over time). Progressive supranuclear palsy involves

damage to multiple cells of the brain, with loss of the myelin sheath (the covering of the nerve cell that speeds nerve impulse conduction) in some nerves and destruction of the entire nerve in other areas. People with this condition have deposits in brain tissues that resemble the deposits found in Alzheimer's disease. There is atrophy (loss of tissue) in most areas of the brain. The disorder is most often seen in people over 60 years old, and is somewhat more common in men.

Progressive supranuclear palsy affects the brainstem, the basal ganglia, and the cerebellum. The brainstem is located at the top of the spinal cord. It controls the most basic functions needed for survival--the involuntary (unwilled) movements such as breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate. The brainstem has three parts: the medulla oblongata, the pons, and the midbrain. The parts affected by PSP are the pons, which controls facial nerves and the muscles that turn the eye outward, and the midbrain, the visual center. The basal ganglia are islands of nerve cells located deep within the brain. They are involved in the initiation of voluntary (willed) movement and control of emotion. Damage to the basal ganglia causes muscle stiffness (spasticity) and tremors. The cerebellum is located at the base of the skull. It controls balance and muscle coordination.

Vision is controlled by groups of cells called nuclei in the brainstem. In progressive supranuclear palsy, the nuclei continue to function, but the mechanisms that control the nuclei are destroyed. The term supranuclear means that the damage is done above (supra) the nuclei. Patients with PSP have difficulty with voluntary (willed) eye movement. At first, the difficulty only occurs in trying to look down. As the disease progresses, ability to move the eyes right and left is also affected. However, reflex or unwilled eye movements remain normal. Thus, when the patient's head is tilted upwards, the eyes move to look down. These reflex movements remain normal until late in the course of the disease. The upper eyelids may be pulled back, the eyebrows raised, and the brow wrinkled, causing a typical wide-eyed stare. Rate of blinking may decrease from the normal 20-30 per minute to three to five per minute. It becomes difficult to walk downstairs, to maintain eye contact during conversation, or to move the eyes up and down to read.

More information on progressive supranuclear palsy

What's progressive supranuclear palsy? - Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare degenerative neurological disorder characterized by loss of balance when walking, loss of control of voluntary eye movement.
What causes progressive supranuclear palsy? - The exact cause of progressive supranuclear palsy is unknown. Progressive supranuclear palsy is a disease of middle age.
What're the symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy? - The earliest symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy may be frequent falls or stiff, slow movements of the arms and legs.
How is progressive supranuclear palsy diagnosed? - Progressive supranuclear palsy does not cause the uncontrolled shaking (tremor) in muscles at rest that is associated with Parkinson's disease.
What's the treatment for progressive supranuclear palsy? - Progressive supranuclear palsy cannot be cured. Drugs are sometimes given to relieve symptoms.
Neurological disorders Mainpage

Topics in neurological disorders

Autoimmune nervous system diseases
Autonomic nervous system diseases
Degenerative nervous system diseases
Central nervous system diseases
Brain diseases
Cranial nerve disorders
Headaches
Dementia
Language disorders
Perceptual disorders
Motor neuron diseases
Neurologic manifestations
Movement disorders
Peripheral nerve disorders
Sleep disorders
Spinal cord diseases
 

Featured neurological articles

Multiple sclerosis
Cerebral palsy
Migraine headache
Cluster headache
Alzheimer's disease
Stuttering
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Parkinson's disease
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy
Lower back pain
Snoring
Sleep apnea
Brain tumor
Brain cancer
Spinal cord tumors

Nutrition for neurological disorders


MindSoothe for emotional health
MindSoothe, a natural herbal remedy, contains a selection of herbs known for their calming and supportive function in maintaining brain and nervous system health, emotional balance and overall wellbeing.

Neuro Natural Memory
Specifically formulated to help support brain health, Neuro-Natural Memory may help improve memory, concentration levels and reduce the potential for brain and memory function problems.

Triple Complex Sleep Tonic
Sleep Tonic helps the body relax and produce all the hormones essential for healthy sleep; safe for everyone, including pregnant and nursing women, children, and small babies.


All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005