Do anti depressants work for PSP patients?

I'm sure I have read somewhere on here that anti depressants can work for people with psp?

My Mum is now confined to her lounge in her chair all day, walking a few steps to use the mobile loo and a few more steps to bed all with her zima frame, she is really down and has been more so for the last couple of months, even though she has just become a great grandma, I thought he would of cheered her up more! when we ask her how she is feeling she just says "fed up". Mum has continuous urine infections and is on antibiotics every day now 10ml at bedtime. My Dad is her main carer and does a fantastic job with Mum, I go nearly every day and I shower Mum twice a week which is when we walk with the zima frame to the bathroom (downstairs) not far! But Mum is always exhausted when she returns back.

My Mum repeatedley fell backwards for a few years before being diagnosed with PSP, nearly 2 years ago now when she fell downstairs and broke her back and several ribs, we have never left her alone since then (Nov 2010) as she would undoubtedly fall backwards if we didn't walk behind her holding her waist for support. Mum also gets confused and tired when more than about 2 people are in the room, does anyone know why this happens? I think its something to do with Mum can't absorb everything that is being said!?

Sorry I've rambled on a bit but sometimes I feel helpless and just wish I could do more for my wonderful Mum xx

13 Replies

  • hi jan im sorry about your mothers condition i have psp and i was put on an ant depressant its called CELAPRAM 10 MG. IT WAS ORIGINALY TO HELP ME SLEEP AS I WAS UP AT ALL HRS DURING THE NIGHT BUT I FOUND IT TOOK AWAY SOME OF THE WOOLINESS I FELT


  • hi jan

    yes tghere are many anti depressant s which can help your mum

    have been on 1 for over 30 years - different ones i should say and htere is boudn to be 1 to suit your mum

    plz get an appt with a consultant s(Preferably psychiatrist) who can assess her and HELP HER

    LOL JIll


  • Hello Jan, Like the others I am sure there is something that could be prescribed to help your mother's depression. Chris didn't recognize that he was depressed but I was lucky because he was given amitriptyline at bedtime so it helped his sleep, helped to stop his night time cramps and lifted his depression. This drug does have some side effects, such as a very dry mouth which can be hard to deal with. It is well worth speaking to your mum's doctor about this. I can relate very much to what you are going through as Chris was very much the same. He fell from the top to bottom of the stairs- fortunately he only broke 3 ribs, but it a very scary thing to watch. I thought he was going to break his neck. We had already ordered a stair lift and it was due to be installed the next day. My thoughts are with you.


  • Hi Jan,

    When my Dad was finally diagnosed with PSP he was prescribed a small dose of celexa along with his other medications. I believe it has helped him tremendously with sleep and his personality. So I think it did make a difference to him. He is also taking a sleeping pill now and is fighting his third bout of pneumonia so we want him to be as comfortable as possible -- the Dr.s have made it clear he is at the end stage of his disease.

    Good luck



  • Hi Jan,

    My husband has been on Citalapram 20mgs daily for over two years. Initially he was diagnosed with depression in 2010, but following many unexplained falls and other changes he was diagnosed with psp. Just recently we have tried reducing the dosage to 10 mgs daily and at the moment he seems to be okay. However he does have amitryptaline at night which also has an antidepressant effect.

    Over the last year his psp has a progressed considerably and now he can do very little for himself. The only positive thing to come out of this stage is a reduction in the number of falls.

    Best wishes to you, your Mum and Dad.


  • My hubby takes this and for him it actually acts to ease anxiety. He feels like he is "coming out of his skin" if he doesn't take it. Take care.

  • Hi Jan, not sure about anti depressants as mum only says she is fed up if she hasn't been out of her room so it is easily remedied.. However, in the descriptors of PSP they say that PSP patients are easily over stimulated , that's one of the reasons they can't follow films etc. I do find mum is very sleepy after a bath or shower as it's quite a big thing fior her now. So the excursion to the bathroom and the shower would definitely be tiring for your mum. But I am sure she feels it is worth the effort.

    I do feel for you and your Dad, it's a hard time for everyone.

    Best wishes


  • The University of Florida top neurologist indicated to me that falls are the earliest event indicating PSP. He said that when he reviews people diagnosed with PSP they almost always say they had falls early on. My observation with a wife who has PSP is that the brain works much, much, much slower than normal. This causes all kinds of issues. My wife is slow to respond to questions or commands but eventually complies if I wait a bit. Interesting that you mentioned being tired. Fatigue is a major issue for my wife. Also the more tired she is the more imbalance she has and more apt to fall. She takes a two hour nap in the day and sleeps well at night. Recently we took a trip to GA, TN, VA, and NJ to visit relatives. All that joyus activity took it's toll on her due to fatigue. We won't do any trips that ambitious again but take short trips where she can get adequate rest. No depression for my wife, thank God. I think that drugs for depression might cause more confusion and side effects that the good they would do. I'm not a doctor that's just my opinion. A relative of mine who is an anasthesaologist said that when "put under" for surgery a person with cognitive issues often doesn't return to the status their brain was before being "put under". I have to wonder if meds for depression might have a similar effect. Perhaps someone with medical background can fill us in.


  • Hello there - anti-depressants worked for my father - the one that worked best for my dad was amitriptyline.

  • I take fluoxetine for depression anyone ever been onit 20mg per day

  • Maxwell123, this is a very old post, and may not get noticed. You might want to start a new thread. If you'd like me to open a post on the question for you, I'd be glad to.

  • Yes coul u open a new post regardi g my anti depresants sorry im like a zombie this morning im on fluoxetine 20mg per day thx

  • Thanks very much for your responses, we will give the information of the anti-depressants to the doctor when we see him, if it helps makes Mum's head clearer that will be a bonus as well:) Thanks again Jan x

You may also like...