Clinical diagnosis and diagnostic criteria of progressive supranuclear palsy (Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome)

J Neural Transm Suppl. 1994:42:15-31. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7091-6641-3_2.


Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is characterized clinically by supranuclear gaze palsy, neck dystonia, parkinsonism, pseudobulbar palsy, gait imbalance with frequent falls and frontal lobe-type dementia. In the advanced typical case, when supranuclear gaze palsy and other main features are present diagnosis is relatively easy. Diagnostic problems, though, are frequent in the early stages due to the variable clinical presentation and in those atypical cases in which gaze palsy does not develop or that present as a severe dementia disorder or as an isolated akinetic-rigid syndrome. In this review we summarize the clinical features of PSP and emphasize those aspects helpful in the differential diagnosis with Parkinson's disease and other motor and cognitive disorders that can pose difficult diagnostic problems. Clinical diagnostic criteria are also discussed and modifications of those currently in used are proposed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dystonia / diagnosis
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / diagnosis
  • Paralysis / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / diagnosis*