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Diagnosis of PSPS

PSPS is diagnosed on the basis of a clinical examination by a physician, usually a neurologist or a psychiatrist. The diagnosis of PSPS is made in the context of the history, cognitive examination, and neurological examination.  

Neuropathologic assessment at autopsy remain the only certain means to diagnose PSP, one of several neuropathologic causes of PSPS.  

 There are no definitive biomarkers for PSP, though there are several types of brain imaging scans  that can  help support or rule out the diagnosis of PSP 

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of the brain can reveal  “atrophy” or shrinking in certain areas of the brainstem.  

Two functional brain imaging scans may be used to aid the diagnosis.  

  • To see decreased activity in certain areas of the brain and brainstem in PSPS, aFluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scan can be done. 
  • To view neurons in the brain, SPECT imaging of dopamine transporters (DaTcan be done. Although abnormal in PSP, and SPECT imaging is used to identify other pathologies, such as Parkinson’s disease, Lewy Body disease, multiple system atrophy, and corticobasal degeneration (CBD).  

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