Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare brain disorder that causes problems with balance, walking, eye movements, speech, and swallowing. It is also called Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome. Homeopathy for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy can help manage the symptoms, but is limited in its scope and should not be the only course of treatment for this disorder.
The exact cause of progressive supranuclear palsy isn’t known yet. The symptoms of PSP arise due to the deterioration of brain cells in the region of the brain stem. It has been found that destruction of brain cells is linked with an abnormal amount of protein (called tau that forms clumps in brain cells) hinder their functioning resulting in the death of brain cells. The condition affects people who are over the age of 60 years.
Signs and Symptoms
The main signs and symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy include unsteady gait, loss of balance while walking resulting in frequent falls (mostly backward) and an inability to control eye movement. There may be difficulty focussing the eye on objects or looking upward/downward. Blurred vision, double vision, sensitivity to light, involuntary closing of eyes (blepharospasm) may also be felt. Inability to maintain eye contact during conversation is other vision complaints. These signs and symptoms tend to worsen over time, the rate of its progression varies from person to person. Other symptoms include stiffness, difficulty swallowing, slow / slurred speech, sleep disturbances, change in behaviour (like irritability, mood swings, impulsive behaviour, laughing / weeping without reason, loss of interest in pleasurable activities), depression, anxiety, slowness of thought, memory problems, forgetfulness, difficult reasoning and decision making ability, monotone speech and a mask-like facial expression.
Homeopathy for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
Homeopathy plays a supportive role in managing the symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy. These medicines can be taken along with conventional treatment to give symptomatic relief to the patient and improve the quality of life. Homeopathy medicines are indicative to manage gait issues, vision problems, speech / swallowing difficulties and attending memory issues, sleep problems, behavioral problems, depression, and anxiety. Homeopathy medicines are selected individually for every case of progressive supranuclear palsy as per the characteristic symptoms. The top homeopathic medicines for supportive help to manage progressive supranuclear palsy include Alumina, Agaricus, Causticum, Phosphorus and Baryta Carb.
1. Alumina – For Unsteady Gait/loss of Balance while Walking
Alumina is well indicated to manage unsteady gait/loss of balance while walking in progressive supranuclear palsy. Staggering and tottering while walking is present where Alumina is used. There is a need to sit frequently while walking. Thighs and legs feel tensed, stiff like a cramp with gait problems.
2. Agaricus – For Loss of Balance while Walking with Tendency to Fall Forward
Agaricus is a prominent medicine for managing the loss of balance while walking in cases of progressive supranuclear palsy. In such cases gait is unsteady. Person reels and totters while walking. There is a tendency to fall forward. Legs may feel heavy and weak while walking.
3. Causticum – For Loss of Balance while walking with Tendency to Fall Backward
Causticum next medicine to manage complaint of loss of balance while walking in persons having progressive supranuclear palsy. It is most indicated for cases where a person have unsteady gait with a tendency to fall backward. Legs may feel tensed and cramped with the above features.
4. Phosphorus – For Visual Complaints
Phosphorus is a significant medicine for supportive help to manage visual complaints in progressive supranuclear palsy. Blurred and double vision indicates its use. It is also useful when sensitivity to light (photophobia) is an attending complaint.
5. Baryta Carb – For Mental Dullness, Forgetfulness
Baryta Carb is prominent medicine for managing mental dullness and forgetfulness in progressive supranuclear palsy. Persons needing Baryta Carb forgets familiar words. They are also forgetful while conversing with others. They forget what they have said in a conversation. They have slowness of thought. Reasoning and understanding ability is also diminished in them.
6. Anacardium – For Memory Problems, Forgetfulness, Weak Memory
Anacardium is prepared from the layer of nut between shell and kernel of a plant Anacardium Orientale having common name marking nut. The natural order of this plant is Anacardiaceae. Anacardium offers help to manage memory problems and forgetfulness in cases of progressive supranuclear palsy. Persons needing Anacardium suffer from marked forgetfulness and they don’t remember anything. Their mind gets extremely weak and dull. They forget the names of close persons and unable to recognize familiar faces. Sadness and high irritability may appear in them.
7. Belladonna – For Difficult Swallowing
Belladonna is prepared from a plant named deadly nightshade. The natural order of this plant is Solanaceae. Belladonna helps to manage swallowing difficulties in cases of progressive supranuclear palsy. Persons needing Belladonna have difficulty to swallow food. They have to drink liquid frequently while eating solid food to move it down. Swallowing is also painful. There is a fear of choking with food while eating. Throat feels very dry.
8. Lachesis – For Slow, Difficult Speech
Lachesis is indicated to manage slow, difficult speech in cases of progressive supranuclear palsy. In such cases, it may be difficult to pronounce words. The tongue feels heavy and moves with difficulty. Stammering may also be present.
9. Coffea Cruda – For Sleep Disturbances
Coffea Cruda is very beneficial for managing sleep disturbances in progressive supranuclear palsy. There is difficulty falling asleep where Coffea Cruda is indicated. The person remains wide awake at night though feeling drowsy. Tossing and turning from side to side in bed is there. If sleep appears then there is difficulty maintaining sleep. Coffea Cruda is also indicated for restless sleep with frequent waking.
10. Ignatia – For Behaviour Changes (irritability, mood swings) and Depression
Ignatia is prepared from seeds of plant Ignatia Amara. This plant belongs to natural order Loganiaceae. Ignatia is very useful to manage behavior changes and depression in case of progressive supranuclear palsy. Persons needing Ignatia have marked irritability and mood swings. They become sad with weeping one moment suddenly followed by happiness and laughing. Fatigue both on the mental and physical plane is also marked. Ignatia is also indicated for managing depression in persons having progressive supranuclear palsy. They remain sad with frequent weeping spells. They are joyless. They prefer to be alone and isolated. An aversion to talking also prevails in them. They don’t want to do any work either mental or physical. They become absent-minded. Their memory becomes weak with difficult thinking and forgetfulness. They become mentally dull. They also start losing interest in pleasurable activities.
11. Aconite – For Anxiety Issues
Aconite is prepared from a plant Aconitum Napellus commonly known by the name of monkshood. The natural order of this plant is Ranunculaceae. Aconite is highly suitable for treating anxiety issues in persons having progressive supranuclear palsy. Such persons have high anxiety attended with restlessness. They have intense palpitations, cold sweat with trembling during anxiety phase. They fear to go out where there is a crowd and have a fear of death.