Progressive supranuclear palsy: where are we now?

Lancet Neurol. 2002 Oct;1(6):359-69. doi: 10.1016/s1474-4422(02)00161-8.


This review provides an update on progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP, or Steele-Richardson-Olszewski disease), an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterised by early postural instability, which leads to falls, and a vertical supranuclear-gaze palsy. Recent epidemiological studies have shown that the disorder is more common than previously recognised, that it is commonly misdiagnosed, and that it may present to a wide range of hospital specialists. The diagnosis of PSP hinges on clinical acumen. Attempts to identify a suitable biomarker in the CSF or a specific and sensitive imaging or neurophysiological technique have so far failed to have a significant effect on the diagnostic process. Better understanding of the molecular pathology of PSP has highlighted the importance of tau-protein accumulation and tau-genotype susceptibility in its pathogenesis. No drug treatment significantly and consistently benefits patients, and novel therapies are urgently required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / diagnosis
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / epidemiology
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / genetics
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / pathology
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / physiopathology*
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / therapy*