What is progressive supranuclear palsy? Democrat Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton diagnosed with rare...
Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton said Monday she won't run for reelection after being diagnosed with a brain disorder she described as 'Parkinson's on steroids'.
The Democratfrom Virginiahad revealed in April she had Parkinson's disease, which sees parts of the brain gradually waste away, affecting movement and speech.
Doctors later changed her diagnosis to progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a similar but much rarer disorder that impacts just 20,000 people in America.
For comparison, around 1 million people in the US have Parkinson's.
The main difference is that PSP causes patients to deteriorate much more rapidly, causing harsher symptoms, particularly with speech, coordination and eating.
People diagnosed with PSP die within a decade of their diagnosis, whereas Parkinson's patients can expect to live between 10 and 20 years after diagnosis.
PSP, a form of'Parkinson's on steroids,' may be under- or misdiagnosed because its symptoms closely resemble those of Parkinson's disease. However, there are several symptoms that can differentiate the two.