Treatments for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
Only a few drugs have been found to have any effect on the symptoms of PSP. Drugs that appear to have some benefit include L-dopa, amantadine, amitriptyline, desipramine, and yohimbine. Unfortunately, none of these drugs provide dramatic or long-lasting improvements, and each can cause serious side effects. Botulinum toxin can be used to treat blepharospasm (eyelid spasms) and other types of dystonia that sometimes occur in PSP. Artificial tears can help prevent drying out of the eyes that may occur from decreased blinking.
A speech therapist can teach safer swallowing techniques and advise on the need for a gastrostomy tube. The speech therapist can also offer the PSP patient alternative communication devices, such as pointing boards or computer-based systems. Books on tape provide an alternative when reading is no longer possible.
A weighted, soft-wheeled walker can help prevent falls. Caregivers can improve the safety of the person with PSP by keeping pathways in the home clear of objects such as toys, throw rugs, or low furniture that are difficult to see without looking down. An occupational therapist can advise on these and other home modifications to improve safety, comfort, and usability of the home environment.