NORD gratefully acknowledges Rodger J. Elble, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Director, Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders Center, Neurology Residency Director, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, for assistance in the preparation of this report.
Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is an uncommon degenerative neurological disorder that causes progressive impairment of balance and walking; impaired eye movement, especially in the downward direction; abnormal muscle tone (rigidity); speech difficulties (dysarthria); and problems related to swallowing and eating (dysphagia). Affected individuals frequently experience personality changes and cognitive impairment. Symptoms typically begin after age 60 but can begin earlier. The exact cause of PSP is unknown. PSP is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, corticobasal degeneration and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Drs. John C. Steele, J.C. Richardson and J. Olszewski identified progressive supranuclear palsy as a distinct neurological disorder in 1963.
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