Progressive supranuclear palsy or PSP is a degenerative neurological disorder. The rare disease, which is also known as Richardson syndrome, affects approximately five out of 100,000 people worldwide, though many researchers believe the illness is under-diagnosed. PSP affects women more often than men. The first symptoms appear between the ages of 45 and 75.
Supranuclear palsy is one of several illnesses categorized as tauopathies, illnesses that involve an abnormal build-up of tau protein in the brain. Tau protein helps create the structural framework within nerve cells, especially the microtubules that transport materials in and out of cells, help cells maintain their shape, and aid in cellular division. Defective tau proteins form clumps inside neurons and other brain cells. The symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy are associated with dying brain cells. Symptoms worsen as the number of dead or dying brain cells increases.
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