Some time back, no to far, we had a discussion on the use of MRI or other brain scan to diagnose PSP. I was just sent this article relating to that discussion. I thought I'd share the link to it for those interested. I'm not trying to advance any particuar agenda, just trying to be helpful.



6 Replies

  • hi jim


    thanks for that article

    i HTINK i understand it!

    lol Jill


  • Thanks Jimbo for this article reference. On the basis of this brief synopsis (because I cannot open the full text), it seems to have some confusing definitions and explanations.

    However, it confirms the findings of previous research that when there are clinical signs of PSP (it calls it PSP syndrome) then there is invariably midbrain atrophy (that has been described as the hummingbird sign on sagittal view MRI scans). This research was trying to see if PSP pathology (at autopsy) in patients who had a non - PSPS clinical diagnosis also showed midbrain atrophy and they concluded that they did not show atrophy.

    I would like to talk to these researchers because having PSP pathology without it showing up in the symptoms of PSP in the patient (i.e. not being diagnosed with PSP) is interesting. I would like their definition of "progressive supranuclear palsy pathology".

    We know what others have found, in as much that in conditions like PSP-Parkinson's and CBD the tau protein pathology is similar to classical PSP (the distribution and certain cellular formations are different, and this helps distinguish them) but these conditions do not show midbrain atrophy (hence, they do not show the hummingbird sign).

    All the best.

  • Strelly, Thanks for that input. Appreciated.


  • Just one other interesting note from this and previous studies (from my point of view anyway), is the fact that a person can have PSP pathology at autopsy (usual tau glial damage and neurofibrilliary tangles etc), and yet in life they have none of the classic PSP symptoms. This was seen mainly in very old people. This intrigues researchers, and some call it incidental PSP, and others explain the fact that a certain amount of neuron "damage" has to be done before the "load" is great enough to show up as symptoms, followed by the intensity of symptoms.

    This accounts for the typical symptoms we see in PSP sufferers, where it becomes such an individual disease with its own course and degree of those symtoms. It also accounts for the subtle sub types of PSP, and co-existance with other disorders like CBD etc.

    All very complex - sorry if this is "information overload"!


  • Strelly, Not overload at all. I appreciate all the input I can get.


  • Strelley thanks for your input marytea13

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