Skip to Main Content
Treatment Neurology & Neurosurgery

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Currently, there is no treatment for progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). In some patients the slowness, stiffness and balance problems may respond to Parkinson's disease medications but the effect is usually temporary. Speech, vision and swallowing difficulties usually do not respond to drug treatments.

Simple lifestyle changes may benefit patients. For example, patients can use weighted walking aids to prevent a tendency to fall backwards.

Bifocals or special glasses called prisms are sometimes prescribed to remedy the difficulty of looking down and certain exercises can help keep the joints limber.

When a patient experiences severe difficulty swallowing and choking is a risk, a surgical procedure called a gastrostomy may be necessary. This surgery involves placing a tube through the skin of the abdomen into the intestine for feeding purposes.

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.

Recommended reading

Healthy Aging

Most healthy older adults experience mild decline in some areas of cognition, such as visual and verbal memory, immediate memory or the ability to name objects.

Memory and Aging Glossary

Use this memory and aging glossary to help navigate some of the esoteric terminology including, Agnosia, Aphasia, Gray Matter, Tau, Vacuolation, and more.

Seeking care at UCSF Health

Expand Map