Recently, Veteran actor Kadar Khan passed away in Canada, due to a prolonged health condition. The condition apparently is known as progressive supra-nuclear palsy. Also known as Steele Richardson Olszewski syndrome is a rare disorder that could worsen over time to life threatening complications. There is not cure for this condition as of now and is caused due to deterioration of cells in the brain area. These cells are responsible for body movement and thinking. The life threatening complications that result due to the condition include pneumonia and swallowing issues. The treatment for the condition includes management of signs and symptoms of the condition.
The cause of this condition is yet not known but as per researchers have found that people suffering from this condition tend to have an abnormal level of protein call tau in inside their brain. The clumps of these same cells are also responsible for other neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
The risk factors for the condition is aging as this condition is known to be occurring generally in the age group of 60 plus and does not exist practically for under 40 ones.
The symptoms of progressive supra-nuclear palsy include –
- Balance loss while walking – This condition can show early signs like falling backward.
- Eye aiming issues – The symptoms include issues related to looking downward or upward and at times even double vision or blurred vision. Poor eye contact could also lead to conversation disinterest and spilling of food and other stuff.
- The other symptoms are similar to conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s disease and include light sensitivity, impulsive behavior like crying or laughing for no reason, memory loss, inability to solve problems or make decisions. Expressions of fright or surprise due to rigid facial muscles.
Complications of this condition could include the following –
- Issues with focusing using eyes leading to injuries
- Issues with looking into bright lights
- Sleeping issues
- Swallowing problems
- Falling due impulsive behavior like standing up abruptly without help leading to accidents.
Signs and symptoms of Progressive supra-nuclear palsy are similar to Parkinson’s disease. Some of these include –
- Less response to Parkinson’s drugs
- Difficulty with looking downward
- Lack of tremors or shaking of head
The doctor may ask you to do a MRI scan for determining shrinkage in areas of brain that lead to supra-nuclear palsy. MRI because it helps in eliminating other similar symptom conditions like stroke. The doctor could also ask a PET scan to find out details around brain abnormalities.
Though this condition does not have a cure, treatment does help to ease of the symptoms and slow it down. Researchers are still working on developing a medication that could block the tau formations but still the work is under progress.