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Sindana D. Ilango 1 Article
Environmental Risk Factors for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
Hee Kyung Park, Sindana D. Ilango, Irene Litvan
J Mov Disord. 2021;14(2):103-113.   Published online May 26, 2021
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Typically, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is clinically characterized by slow vertical saccades or supranuclear gaze palsy, levodopa-resistant parkinsonism with predominant axial symptoms, and cognitive executive impairment. Over the past decades, various PSP phenotypes, including PSP with predominant parkinsonism, PSP with corticobasal syndrome, PSP with progressive gait freezing, and PSP with predominant frontal dysfunction, have been identified from pathologically confirmed cases. Expanding knowledge led to new diagnostic criteria for PSP that with increased disease awareness led to increased PSP prevalence estimates. The identification of environmental and modifiable risk factors creates an opportunity to intervene and delay the onset of PSP or slow disease progression. To date, despite the increasing number of publications assessing risk factors for PSP, few articles have focused on environmental and lifestyle risk factors for this disorder. In this article, we reviewed the literature investigating the relationship between PSP and several environmental and other modifiable lifestyle risk factors. In our review, we found that exposures to toxins related to diet, metals, well water, and hypertension were associated with increased PSP risk. In contrast, higher education and statins may be protective. Further case-control studies are encouraged to determine the exact role of these factors in the etiopathogenesis of PSP, which in turn would inform strategies to prevent and reduce the burden of PSP.


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