psp

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Before you or your loved one join a research trial or study, your doctor should talk to you about what it's like to be in a trial and describe the pros and cons of participating. If you are interested, someone from the clinical trial staff will explain the details of the study, risks and benefits, and your rights as a participant, including your right to withdraw from the study at any point. Once all your questions have been answered, they will ask you to sign an informed consent to participate.

Choosing to participate in a clinical trial or research study is an important personal decision. The following frequently asked questions (FAQ) provide detailed information about clinical trials and were modified from the NIH Clinical Trials website, the UCSF Human Subjects Protection Program Website and the National Institute on Aging Alzheimer’s Disease website.

Movement Disorders

Movement disorders are a group of diseases and syndromes that affect the ability to produce normal movement. Abnormal movements are broadly classified as either hyperkinetic—too much movement—or hypokinetic—too little movement.

Movement disorders are a group of diseases and syndromes that affect the ability to produce normal movement. Abnormal movements are broadly classified as either hyperkinetic—too much movement—or hypokinetic—too little movement.

Hyperkinetic movements include:

  • Tremor: Involuntary shaking of a body part that is generally rhythmic. Tremor may occur in the following circumstances:
    1. when muscles are relaxed (such as resting one’s hands in his or her lap),

Anatomy of Movement

Movement is produced and coordinated by several interacting brain regions, including the motor cortex, the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. Outside of the brain, the sensory nervous system provides valuable information regarding the speed and positioning of various body parts and spinal nerve cells can allow for coordination of muscle contraction.

Movement is produced and coordinated by several interacting brain regions, including the motor cortex, the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. Outside of the brain, the sensory nervous system provides valuable information regarding the speed and positioning of various body parts and spinal nerve cells can allow for coordination of muscle contraction.

The Motor Cortex

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis of movement disorders requires a careful medical history and a thorough physical and neurological examination. Treatment with medications can be helpful in some cases, but it is common for treatment of movement disorders to also include an exercise program with possible referral to physical and occupational therapy.

Diagnosis

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a degenerative disease of the brain leading to difficulties with walking and balance, problems with eye movements, changes in behavior, difficulty with speech and swallowing, and dementia.

What is progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)?

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a degenerative brain disease leading to difficulties with walking and balance, problems with eye movements, changes in behavior, difficulty with speech and swallowing, and dementia.

Practical Tips for Daily Life

Activities of daily living are divided into two major categories. The first, often called instrumental activities, includes more complex types of activities such as paying bills, shopping, managing medications, working and driving. The second category is activities related to personal care and include eating, bathing, dressing, getting in or out of bed or a chair and using the toilet. In the beginning of the disease, the patient will have trouble completing the instrumental, complex activities. As the disease progresses, the person will have difficulty managing the more basic functions and will need help from caregivers.

Topics

Alleviating Symptoms

Living with the symptoms of neurodegenerative disease can be frustrating, difficult and even scary. The first step is to recognize that these behaviors are part of the changes in the brain. The person has little or no control over them and isn't behaving this way on purpose. Often times, behavioral and environmental changes can help prevent or stop these behaviors. For some symptoms, medication may be helpful.

Aggression

Aggressive behavior may become more common in some forms of dementia due to the brain’s inability to control impulsive actions.

Tips for preventing aggression

  1. Ensure the person does not have pain and see the person's regular doctor for any illness. A change in behavioral symptoms may be triggered by even minor illnesses such as a cold or by pain such as arthritis.
  2. When talking to the person, do not use sarcasm or abstract thinking. Instead, be concrete.
  3. Reduce external distractions when talking, e.g., TV, radio, busy places.
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