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Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Tips

Kader Khan's Health Worsens - All You Should Know About PSP!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Faridabad
Kader Khan's Health Worsens - All You Should Know About PSP!

In a saddening development, the health of renowned Bollywood actor Kader Khan has deteriorated further and he has been put on BiPAP ventilator at a hospital in Canada. He was recently diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare disease of the nervous system.

PSP affects your vision and your ability to think clearly. Your vision is affected because your eye movement becomes restricted; your movements become uncontrolled and clumsy. This disease is dangerous, with the ultimate potential to turn lethal.

Although, not much is known about the disease, learning more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of the same can help you get a clear idea of PSP.

Causes: Why would you develop PSP?

The clear causes of this disease are yet unknown. However, a genetic system of transmission has not been proven yet. In the brains of people having this disease, a protein called tau exists in abnormally large quantities. The symptoms of the condition have similarity with those of Alzheimer's. However, the link between the two is yet to be investigated.

Symptoms: When to understand you have PSP?

Following are the signs-

  • Difficulty moving
  • Loss of balance
  • You may fall, and be rendered unable to walk alone
  • You may have trouble opening your eyes, or swallowing
  • You may become increasingly sensitive to the light
  • You may lose interest in your once-favourite pastimes
  • You may have strange reactions to stimuli, like laughing and crying without reason

Treatment: What to do to manage the symptoms?

No known cure for this condition is there, and therefore, you have to try to control the symptoms so your lifestyle is not impaired. There are several ways to go about the process. They are -

Using medicines for Parkinson’s disease - This may provide a temporary solution, lasting 2-3 years, for some patients. These medicines increase the quantity of brain dopamine, which in turn facilitates better decision-making and movement.

Using customized spectacles - Bi-focal or prism glass lenses help PSP patients see better, and recover some of the eye functions they lost due to the disease.

Using movement therapy - These techniques, centring on your daily lifestyle at home or in the workplace, help you deal with the condition better. You can also learn techniques for smoother swallowing, as swallowing becomes more difficult as your disease progresses.

Using a BiPAP ventilator - Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) ventilators are a common and effective way to manage the symptoms of the disease. It is one of the most common variants of non-invasive ventilation techniques. Non-invasive ventilation refers to the type of ventilation that does not take the help of an external, potentially harmful to the internal organs (invasive) breathing pathway. It is heavily used for patients with severe respiratory failure.

PSP is a disease that can have complications that are difficult to manage. While the condition cannot be cured completely, you can manage the symptoms with prompt recognition and immediate treatment. Keep an eye on the symptoms mentioned above, and decide on a method of treatment beforehand!

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