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Diagnosis Neurology & Neurosurgery

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

An early diagnosis of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is difficult because initial complaints typically are vague. PSP often is misdiagnosed because some symptoms are very much like those of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and more rare neuro-degenerative disorders, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Memory problems and personality changes may lead a doctor to mistake PSP for depression or even attribute symptoms to some form of dementia.

A thorough evaluation is important to diagnosis PSP. This involves an interview with you and another person such as a spouse, relative or close friend to provide examples of behavior and daily activities, physical testing for mobility and vision, and neuropsychological testing for evaluation of thinking and reasoning.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.