How Long Can A Person Live With Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?

The signs and symptoms differ from person to person and some individuals may even live a decade or more.1

Seeking help from speech and language therapists at the initial stage can reduce the risk of the disease and the average life expectancy is around 6-7 years from the onset of symptoms.2,3

Patients with progressive supranuclear palsy tend to have deterioration progressively with a median survival of 9.7 years.4

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a degenerative brain disease that causes serious problems with walking, balance, and eye movements. It has no known cause or cure; It affects brain cells that control balance that can lead to frequent falls.

Progressive supranuclear palsy is rare but men are at increased risk of this condition when compared to women. It is a progressive condition and cannot be cured. The condition when worsen turns life-threatening. However, the initial diagnosis is often helpful in lowering the risk and increasing your lifetime.

How Long Can A Person Live With Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?

The symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy worsen over time. Since it resembles other conditions during its initial onset the diagnosis becomes often challenging. Some of the primary symptoms include

  • Sudden loss of balance while walking resulting in frequent falls that occurs usually backward
  • The weakness of eye movement
  • Speech problem
  • Difficulties with swallowing
  • Changes in mood and behavior

The signs and symptoms differ from person to person and some individuals may even live a decade or more. There is no single test for the diagnosis of this condition and is typically based on the pattern of your symptoms. 1.

Your doctor may suggest a brain scan to look for other possible causes as well as other tests to diagnose your concentration, memory, and your ability to comprehend expressions. Seeking help from speech and language therapists at the initial stage can reduce the risk of the disease and the average life expectancy is around 6-7 years from the onset of symptoms.

Patients with progressive supranuclear palsy tend to have deterioration progressively with a median survival of 9.7 years. The condition progresses and many people become severely disabled with the onset of symptoms. These patients experience serious complications such as respiratory problems, suffocation, injuries related to the brain, and bone fractures. The mortality rate is higher in these cases and the main cause of death is due to respiratory illness which is typically due to pneumonia. 2. 3.

However, when proper care and attention are taken during the symptom’s onset, these patients can live for more number of years with lesser complications. People with progressive supranuclear palsy typically require a walking aid shortly after they start experiencing balancing problems and walking difficulties.

This usually happens 3-4 years after you start noticing symptoms. These patients will require good medical needs and healthy nutrition to expand their longevity and safety. 4.

Causes Of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

The exact cause of the condition remains unknown. The symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy are typically caused by the progressive deterioration of cells in the brainstem and a cluster of cells in important places in the base of the brain. Medical studies state that there is an abnormal accumulation of the tau protein.

Tau protein is a microtubule-associated protein that performs the function of stabilizing microtubules. It usually affects people with over 60 however in some cases, it can affect the individual at a very early age.

References:

  1. “Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.” NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/progressive-supranuclear-palsy-psp/.
  2. “Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Fact Sheet.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Progressive-Supranuclear-Palsy-Fact-Sheet.
  3. “21 Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Symptoms, Treatment, Life Span.” EMedicineHealth, EMedicineHealth, 9 Mar. 2020, www.emedicinehealth.com/progressive_supranuclear_palsy/article_em.htm.
  4. Association, European Parkinson’s Disease. “Progressive Supranuclear Palsy: Myths, Misconceptions and Facts about PSP.” Progressive Supranuclear Palsy: Myths, Misconceptions and Facts about PSP | European Parkinson’s Disease Association, www.epda.eu.com/latest/news/progressive-supranuclear-palsy-myths-misconceptions-and-facts-about-psp/.

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