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Health Tip: PSP is a Disease You Should Know About

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Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a neurological disorder affecting older individuals that you may not have heard of. Commonly mistaken for Parkinson’s Disease, PSP is characterized by severe and permanent problems with balance and eye movement that occur because of lesions in the brain.

Symptoms can be hard to decipher because they could manifest as progressively frequent tripping and falling or bad mood. Those affected by PSP don’t get the tell-tale head or hand shaking like in Parkinson’s.

This little-known disease gets progressively worse (as indicated by the name), and can be diagnosed by a neurologist. Testing often includes a simple request to look down; those affected with PSP can’t.

Treatment is geared toward controlling symptoms, but there is no cure. People with PSP often die of complications stemming from the disease such as choking or deep vein thrombosis.

If you think you or someone close to you may have this disease, contact your doctor for an evaluation.

Do you have a question about neurological disorders? Check out EmpowHER’s pages. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!

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Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.

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EmpowHER Guest

Progressive supranuclear palsy symptoms include loss of balance while walking, stiffness, unexplained falls (usually backward), awkward gait, irritability, forgetfulness, loss of interest, impaired thinking, sudden laughing or crying, apathy, problems controlling eye movement, blurred vision, inability to maintain eye contact during conversation, slurred speech, trouble swallowing solids or liquids and more.

March 29, 2011 - 10:36pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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