Palsy is a medical disorder in which there is loss of sensation or feeling in a part of body like a paralysis or uncontrolled bodily movements. One type of palsy is Pseudobulbar Palsy in which an individual loses control of facial muscles and has trouble chewing or speaking etc. In this article, we will go in detail about Pseudobulbar Palsy, its causes and its scope of treatment.
How Do We Define Pseudobulbar Palsy?
Pseudobulbar Palsy is a medical disorder in which there is an inability to control facial movements. This can be caused by a variety of neurological conditions. Individuals with Pseudobulbar Palsy have difficulty chewing and swallowing; have spasticity in the tongue and bulbar regions. They also have slurred speech. They sometimes may also exhibit uncontrolled emotional outbursts. Pseudobulbar Palsy is generally caused by damage to the neurons of brainstem, specifically the corticobulbar tract.
Causes of Pseudobulbar Palsy
Pseudobulbar Palsy is caused as a result of some type of damage to motor fibers traversing from cerebral cortex to lower brainstem. This damage may be due to a variety of neurological disorders involving demyelination and bilateral corticobulbar lesions. Some of the disease conditions, which can cause Pseudobulbar Palsy are:
- Progressive supranuclear palsy
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Motor neuron diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Brainstem tumors
- Neurological involvement in the case of Behçet’s disease
- Trauma to the brain
Symptoms of Pseudobulbar Palsy
Signs and Symptoms of Pseudobulbar Palsy Include:
- Slurred speech
- Tongue spasticity
- Brisk jaw jerk
- Labile affect
Diagnosis of Pseudobulbar Palsy
A confirmatory diagnosis of Pseudobulbar Palsy depends on the symptoms that an individual is experiencing. A physician will examine the jaw jerk of the individual, which will be brisk in case of Pseudobulbar Palsy. An MRI can also be performed to look at the areas of abnormalities in the brain.
Treatment For Pseudobulbar Palsy
Since Pseudobulbar Palsy is caused as a result of some other underlying disease condition hence treating the underlying cause generally treats Pseudobulbar Palsy. Medications which can be used for Pseudobulbar Palsy are tricyclic antidepressants, SSRIs. There has been a new approach to treat Pseudobulbar Palsy which utilizes dextromethorphan along with quinidine sulfate.