- a rare degenerative disease.
- involves degernatation and death of areas of the brain.
- causes serious and permanent problems with control of gait and balance.
- The most obvious sign of the disease is compromised eye movement, occuring due to lesions in the area of the brain that coordinates eye movements.
- loss of balance
- lunging forward when mobilsing
- knocking into objects and people
- personality changes
- general slowing of movement
- dementia – loss of inhibition and ability to organize information
- slurring of speech
- difficulty moving the eyes, particularly in the vertical direction (accounts for some of the falls experienced by these patients as they are unable to look up or down)
- poor eyelid function
- contracture of the facial muscles
- a backward tilt of the head with stiffening of the neck muscles
- sleep disruption
Treatment and Management:
- symptom management
- The average age at symptoms onset is 63 and survival from onset averages 7 years with a wide variance.