Diagnosis and symptoms

My father was never formally diagnosed with PSP, I understand that diagnosis is virtually impossible as so many symptoms are similar to Parkinson’s, and in my father’s case until the last year we thought he had some form of dementia. When all the main types of dementia had been ruled out we started running out of ideas, Parkinson seemed possible but didn’t explain the mental fog that clouded his brain. PSP was first introduced as a possibility only 11 months before his death when an old friend mentioned that her father-in-law was displaying similar symptoms and was believed to have PSP. Even when as a family we looked into it further PSP never seemed conclusive as the physical manifestations are often the main focus of PSP literature, not so much the dementia-like symptoms. For my father the deterioration of his brain went hand in hand with the deterioration of his body.

From the time he first started displaying PSP symptoms to his death from aspiration pneumonia four and a half years later PSP began, slowly at first, rapidly towards the end, to consume every part of his being until he was wheelchair bound, unable to communicate and virtually no part of the person I knew remained.


  1. I would really appreciate any comments that people have about the blog!

  2. sadly you have more or less described my dad .he would describe his head as being full .we were told at first he had ms and parkinsons but now know it is psp and parkinsons .my dad is getting worse very rapidly now he cant eat much unless its mush and coughs it up most times .its a terrible disease and needs more awareness. my sister and I have been posting awareness links on fb but sadly because its rare and not a well known disease it gets ignored by most networkers .thanks for taking the time to do this blog. im sorry about your dad I fear I will be feeling the same pain as you sooner rather than later

  3. Jim, I'm really sorry to hear about your Dad too. Thank you for your post. I will try to keep adding to this blog because it is really important to keep raising awareness as much as possible because as you say PSP is not widely known yet.