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Dysphagia in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy: Radiologic Features

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Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a progressive degenerative extrapyramidal disease that often masquerades as Parkinson's disease (PD). Similar to PD, dysphagia frequently complicates the course of PSP. Because there is only one published report characterizing dysphagia in PSP, we reviewed the neurologic features and dynamic videofluoroscopic swallowing function study results in 10 dysphagic PSP patients. Abnormalities during multiple stages of ingestion were recorded in each patient. Uncoordinated lingual movements, absent velar retraction or elevation, impaired posterior lingual displacement, and copious pharyngeal secretions were noted in all patients. Tongue-assisted mastication, noncohesive lingual transfer, excessive oral bolus lingual leakage to the pharynx prior to active transfer, vallecular bolus retention, abnormal epiglottic positioning, and hiatal hernias were noted in at least half of the cohort. Although ingestion abnormalities in PSP are similar to those previously reported in PD, the number of studied patients and observed differences were too few to clearly differentiate the two diseases.

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Leopold, N., Kagel, M. Dysphagia in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy: Radiologic Features . Dysphagia 12 , 140 –143 (1997).

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