Distinguishing between Progressive Supranuclear palsy and Parkinson's disease

Distinguishing between progressive supranuclear palsy and Parkinson’s disease

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have established how two diseases that present in similar ways are in fact quite different.

Progressive Supranuclear palsy (PSP) and Parkinson's Disease (PD) have overlapping symptoms but remain difficult to distinguish.

However, a first ever paper on the topic published in the Journal of Neuropsychology (British Psychological Society publication) now suggests that people with PSP experience more severe and extensive cognitive impairments  than those with PD early on.

The study indicates that patients with PSP experience more severe and extensive impairments in higher order functions such as planning, , than those with PD.

Lead researcher Dr Young-Eun Claire Lee said the two conditions are so similar that in some cases, patients with PSP often go undiagnosed for the main part of their illness.

"PD and PSP are the two of the most common forms of resulting in loss of balance and deterioration in mobility," said Dr Lee.

"Telling these differences apart can be challenging because most patients with PSP do not develop distinctive symptoms such as paralysis or weakness of the and episodes of frequent falling until later stages," she said.

While the study sample was small, the results indicate that cognitive profiles may aid differential diagnosis in earlier stages. PSP claimed the life of musician/actor Dudley Moore.

There are no current treatments for PSP.


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More information: Lee, Y.-E. C., Williams, D. R. and Anderson, J. F. I. (2014), "Frontal deficits differentiate progressive supranuclear palsy from Parkinson's disease." Journal of Neuropsychology. doi: 10.1111/jnp.12053
Journal information: Journal of Neuropsychology

Citation: Distinguishing between Progressive Supranuclear palsy and Parkinson's disease (2014, October 10) retrieved 4 July 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-10-distinguishing-supranuclear-palsy-parkinson-disease.html
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