Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy is a rare condition that affects the brain. It has a wide range of symptoms, but few people experience them all and symptoms vary person to person.

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy affects approximately 6.5 per 100,000 people. The number of people affected by Progressive Supranuclear Palsy is similar to Motor Neuron Disease.

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy is difficult to diagnose. It can be confused with Parkinson’s Disease especially early on when the symptoms can be similar.


Multiple System Atrophy has a wide range of symptoms, but few people experience them all and symptoms vary person to person.

It is a progressive condition which means the symptoms tend to get worse over time.

Symptoms may include:

  • falls
  • muscle stiffness
  • slow movements
  • vision
  • talking
  • eating/drinking
  • drooling
  • thinking and mood
  • sleeping
  • pain, 
  • bowel or bladder difficulties.


Researchers are looking for a cure for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. There are many therapies or strategies that can help manage symptoms, but no proven medication or surgery therapy at this stage.

Help manage symptoms

Services that may help in managing symptoms include:

  • counselling or psychology services may be accessed through a mental health plan with your GP, or through Parkinson’s SA
  • physiotherapy for those who have trouble with your walking or you are having falls
  • occupational therapy if you need equipment or home modifications
  • speech pathology for those who have trouble with eating, drinking or talking
  • dietitian if you are having trouble meeting your nutritional needs or losing weight
  • Independent Living Centre of South Australia for information about resources, equipment or aids that could help you.
  • SA Continence Resource Centre for information, education or advice about continence issues, pads and appliances.

Where can I go for help?

Speak to your GP about different services you may need. Contact Parkinson’s SA for information and support to anyone affected by Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

Further information


Speech Pathology
Repatriation General Hospital
Telephone: (08) 8275 1861