- Also known as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), or Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome, Supranuclear Palsy is an uncommon degenerative brain disease due to damaged nerve cells in the brain affecting various motor skills and cognition.
- Results in many changes to various structures in the brain such as, the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, pons and medulla tegmentum in addition to the basal ganglia.
Effects on Speech
- A person with PSP’s speech progresses to a slur within four years of the disease.
- A person with PSP’s speech is uneven, spastic (tense), ataxic (slurred), or soft due to their weakened muscles.
- The patients’ speech can be a combination of the above mentioned speech features.
- A person with PSP can also have difficulty with problem solving and word finding abilities.
Effects on Swallowing
- During an assessment of dysphagia using videofluorography, it was noted that a person with PSP takes a longer time to transfer the bolus (food or drink) from the oral cavity (mouth) to the pharynx (throat).
- Due to weakness in the throat muscles after having PSP, swallowing solid foods or thin liquids is challenging.
- The muscles in the oral/pharyngeal cavity have difficulty executing the swallow of thin liquids.
- Patients could also suffer from aspiration pneumonia. This is pneumonia caused by excessive liquid entering the lungs when swallowing.