What Are The 4 Stages Of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?

The stages of Progressive supranuclear palsy are categorized into early-stage, mild stage, advanced stages, and final stages.1

Early stages begin with occasional falls which advance during every stage and the final stage results in severe impairments and disabilities.2,3

Patients with PSP progresses, and the average life span is 5 years after the diagnosis of the condition.4

What Are The 4 Stages Of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?

The stages of Progressive supranuclear palsy are categorized into early-stage, mild stage, advanced stages, and final stages.

Early Stage Of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

During the early stages, progressive supranuclear palsy symptoms more closely resemble those of Parkinson’s disease with less severity of balance problems. You can experience the below symptoms in less than a year.

  • Ambulant
  • Infrequent falls
  • Difficulties in maintaining problem balance
  • Higher possibilities of vision problem with reduced ability to read

Changes in cognition, mood, and behavior. People with PSP lose their temper very quickly creating embarrassment during the presentation and social gatherings. This results in reduced socializing

Voice changes, you can no longer speak in the normal volume

During this stage, you will be required to visit regular fracture clinics, eye care treatments, or speech and language, therapist.1

Mid Stage Of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Your symptoms slowly progress, and these patients feel increased difficulty in controlling eye movements. This eventually results in losing balance and you may experience frequent falls. Performing your daily routines such as reading, and writing becomes more challenging. In addition to the existing symptoms, you may experience furthermore symptoms, and this will develop in 2-3 years

  • Your movement will require some aid
  • Frequent falls resulting in injuries and fractures
  • Eye muscles become involuntary so reading and walking becomes challenging
  • Speech worsen further and makes it harder for people to understand
  • You will feel lost and socially withdrawn
  • Increased help from others
  • Swallowing difficulties resulting in coughing and choking when eating and drinking
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy patients in this stage would require palliative care.

Advanced Stage Of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

When the disease progresses to the advanced stages, people with progressive supranuclear palsy start experiencing increased difficulties in controlling their voluntary motor functions. Patients with PSP progresses, and the average life span is 5 years after the diagnosis of the condition and the advanced stage is typically between 3-6 years.

  • Mobility is confined to a wheelchair
  • Increased vision problems
  • Severe challenges with speaking and communication however they can still understand
  • Chronic coughing and choking and increased chances of developing pneumonia
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Life becomes more dependant.2,3

The Final Stage Of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Although the stage is hard to diagnose yet people in this stage are socially withdrawn with the least movements. They are more prone to severe infections and major fractures. Most of their motor functions are impaired and treatment no longer works for them.4

The initial warning signs of progressive supranuclear palsy is often related to the aging process. In several instances after the initial onset of symptoms, the patients can realize that symptoms caused are not due to aging.

The initial symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy are not distinct and hence it is hard to diagnose. The symptoms include changes in walking, speech, writing, memory, and behavior. For instance, an individual can feel dispirited or become lazy to proceed with their life routine. The symptoms are mild and less severe in their initial stages but later progresses. Patients with PSP in their final stages experience chronic challenges with major motor functions impairment.

References:

  1. “21 Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Symptoms, Treatment, Life Span.” EMedicineHealth, EMedicineHealth, 9 Mar. 2020, www.emedicinehealth.com/progressive_supranuclear_palsy/article_em.htm.
  2. “Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.” NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders), 4 Jan. 2017, rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/progressive-supranuclear-palsy/.
  3. Published by uhnlabs View all posts by uhnlabs, et al. “New Study Reveals Neuropathological Patterns in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.” The Pathology Report, 11 May 2020, thepathologyreport.com/2020/05/11/new-study-reveals-neuropathological-patterns-in-progressive-supranuclear-palsy/.
  4. Radicati, Fabiana Giada, et al. “Non Motor Symptoms in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy: Prevalence and Severity.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 8 Dec. 2017, www.nature.com/articles/s41531-017-0037-x.

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