What Are The Final Stages Of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy & How Long Does The Last Stage Of PSP Last?

The final stages of progressive supranuclear palsy are hard to be diagnosed but these patients show decreased levels of consciousness with an inability to eat and drink.1

The average lifespan of people with PSP is 6 or 7years from the onset of symptoms and the life expectancy varies from person to person.2

People suffering final stages of progressive supranuclear palsy live for 6-8 weeks.3

Palsy is often associated with the name progressive because the symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy worsen for a patient. The disease progresses in seven to nine years and becomes difficult to deal with the complications.

There are four stages of progressive supranuclear palsy. The initial stages begin with the deterioration of brain cells which worsen gradually and become so severe that normal routines become impossible. The symptoms overlap and not the same for all the patients. Although some don’t experience severe symptoms, yet most people would require extensive help to lead their life.

What Are The Final Stages Of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?

Progressive supranuclear palsy usually causes balance problems leading to frequent falls and stiffness in the body muscles that make trouble walking. It results in impairment of walking. PSP symptoms are classified into phases.

Phase 1: People who are in stage 1 of progressive supranuclear palsy experience difficulties in writing and speaking. They need immediate assistance from speech therapists to make them understand by others. They face stumbling during walking with unexpected falls and they could see visibly the change in their walking patterns.

Phase 2: Complication starts to gradually worsen in this stage. Patients experience more difficulties in walking, have problems to sit down or get up. They experience difficulties in getting dressed up, buttoning, wearing zippers. Eating problems start to arise accompanied by a lot of spills and loss of eating etiquette.1

Phase 3: People in this stage start to experience increase mood changes. They feel irritable and feel restless. They have vision problems with increased cognitive problems and complete loss of control of arms and legs.

Phase 4: This is the final stage of progressive supranuclear palsy. The final stages of progressive supranuclear palsy are hard to be diagnosed but these patients show decreased levels of consciousness with an inability to eat and drink. The average lifespan of people with PSP is 6 or 7years from the onset of symptoms and the life expectancy varies from person to person. These patients have severe impairments, rapid deterioration in the disease and patients no longer respond to treatment.2

How Long Does The Last Stage Of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Last?

The disease is well-advanced in this stage and the patients start losing interest in their daily activities. They have problems with eating and necessitates surgery to insert a feeding tube. They feel tired and sleep most of the time. Patients in this stage feel more withdrawn and feel impossible to move on their own. Long term care is probably needed for these patients for all activities of daily living.

People suffering final stages of progressive supranuclear palsy live for 6-8 weeks. Symptoms do not resolve with treatment and the condition starts to worsen with an acute infection, a fall or major fracture, and rapid and significant weight loss. Medical studies state that more than 50 percent of patients died during the timespan. However early intervention might help people with problems.3

References:

  1. “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.
  2. Morris, Huw R, et al. “Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (Steele-Richardson-Olszewski Disease).” Postgraduate Medical Journal, The Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, 1 Oct. 1999, pmj.bmj.com/content/75/888/579.
  3. Higginson, Irene J, et al. “Symptoms and Quality of Life in Late Stage Parkinson Syndromes: a Longitudinal Community Study of Predictive Factors.” PloS One, Public Library of Science, 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492372/.

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