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Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Eric R Eggenberger, MS, DO, FAAN; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jul 11, 2016
 
 

Diagnostic Considerations

The diagnosis of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is clinical. The key features typically develop over time; although the full-blown picture may be relatively easy to recognize, the early or restricted cases are much more challenging (see Physical Examination).

Misdiagnosis is always a potential medicolegal pitfall, especially in diseases such as PSP, for which objective diagnostic tests are unavailable. Treatable disorders, such as idiopathic Parkinson disease, should be considered. Offering the patient and family a second opinion in the setting of an untreatable fatal illness is always worthy of consideration.

In addition to the conditions listed in the differential diagnosis (see below), other problems to be considered include the following:

  • Hydrocephalus and normal pressure hydrocephalus (dementia, urinary dysfunction, gait abnormality, imaging findings)
  • Machado-Joseph Azorean disease (family history, cerebellar signs, findings on genetic test)
  • Amblyopia

Differential Diagnoses

 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Eric R Eggenberger, MS, DO, FAAN Professor, Vice-Chairman, Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology, Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and Human Medicine, Michigan State University; Director of Michigan State University Ocular Motility Laboratory; Director of National Multiple Sclerosis Society Clinic, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Eric R Eggenberger, MS, DO, FAAN is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Osteopathic Association, North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Biogen; Genzyme; Novartis; Teva <br/>Received research grant from: Biogen; Genzyme; Novartis<br/>Received consulting fee from Biogen for consulting; Received consulting fee from Teva for consulting; Received consulting fee from Acorda for consulting; Received grant/research funds from Novartis for independent contractor; Received honoraria from Genentech for speaking and teaching; Received honoraria from Genzyme for speaking and teaching.

Coauthor(s)

David Clark, DO Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology, Western University of Health Sciences; Neuro-ophthalmologist, Oregon Neurology Associates

David Clark, DO is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Osteopathic Association, North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society

Disclosure: Received honoraria from Teva for speaking and teaching; Received honoraria from Biogen Idec for speaking and teaching.

Chief Editor

Selim R Benbadis, MD Professor, Director of Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Tampa General Hospital, University of South Florida College of Medicine

Selim R Benbadis, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Medical Association, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, American Epilepsy Society

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Cyberonics; Eisai; Lundbeck; Sunovion; UCB; Upsher-Smith<br/>Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Cyberonics; Eisai; Glaxo Smith Kline; Lundbeck; Sunovion; UCB<br/>Received research grant from: Cyberonics; Lundbeck; Sepracor; Sunovion; UCB; Upsher-Smith.

Acknowledgements

Nestor Galvez-Jimenez, MD, MSc, MHA Chairman, Department of Neurology, Program Director, Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, Division of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Florida

Nestor Galvez-Jimenez, MD, MSc, MHA is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American College of Physicians, and Movement Disorders Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Reference Salary Employment

Zeba F Vanek, MD, MBBS, DCN Associate Professor of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Director, UCLA Spasticity Clinic

Zeba F Vanek, MD, MBBS, DCN is a member of the following medical societies: Movement Disorders Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Sagittal T1-weighted image shows atrophy of midbrain, preservation of pontine volume, and atrophy of the tectum, suggestive of progressive supranuclear palsy (Steele-Olszewski-Richardson disease).
Characteristic facial appearance of patient with progressive supranuclear palsy.
 
 
 
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