Progressive Supranuclear Palsy - Later Symptoms

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Do you have a friend or relative with PSP? Please discuss the later symptoms associated with the disease.

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What Are Some of the Later Symptoms of PSP?

The word "progressive" was included in the palsy's name because symptoms typically progressively worsen for a patient. After seven to nine years, PSP becomes more difficult to deal with. The disease usually causes physical imbalance and stiffness of the body to grow worse, making walking very difficult or sometimes impossible.

Problems with eyesight also occur in the later stages of PSP. Usually visual problems can become as much of an issue as impaired walking for the patient. Eyesight is most affected by the difficulty to aim the eye properly, making reading very hard. Another eyesight problem that is sometimes encountered is the inability to maintain visual contact with another person during conversation. PSP can also cause "tunnel vision", which sometimes causes problems while a person is trying to drive a car.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: evelyn, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: March 31

My husband of 26 years passed away on March 10th, 2014 of this terrible disease PSP. No medications helped him. He fought a hard fight. He finally took a nose dive in the middle of February. The last month was terrible! He was in so much pain. He turned stiff and just quit eating or drinking anything. He lost his voice, he was so weak, and he could not sit in a wheelchair without sliding out. He cried for help; it was awful. I miss him so much but so glad he is out of pain! Hope they find a cure.

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Comment from: Bertha, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: October 30

I am a 63 year old woman with a medical background. My father has progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). I think the biggest hurdle for us was to get a proper diagnosis. He stands with great difficulty, and walks short distances with assistance. Last week he fell so he is no longer allowed to get up and move around unassisted. His body is stiff, he has a slight tremor. He is unable to look up, his voice sounds slurred when he first wakes up. He cannot engage in conversation but I believe he enjoys being in the middle of it. He can feed himself and does so with relish. Dad is highly intelligent and he can still respond to questions relating to his field. He moved to an assisted care facility last week. The progression of his PSP has been rapid over the past 12 months. There are small triumphs to celebrate; three steps further than the day before. We try to make each day special. A ride in the car to look at the fall leaves, movie and popcorn in his room. Dominoes or a large puzzle in the evening. Some days are good, others are not; we take them one at a time.

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