Pseudobulbar Palsy

Pseudobulbar palsy is a medical condition wherein the affected individual is unable to control facial movements. Pseudobulbar palsy is medically characterized as a disease because there is no cure for the condition. Treatment for the condition focuses on treating the underlying causes of the disease and managing the symptoms.

Pseudobulbar palsy is a disheartening condition for an individual to deal with. This medical condition is characterized by the inability to control facial movements, and it tends to be progressive in nature. As with any condition that affects the appearance and function of a person's face, pseudobulbar palsy is a difficult disease to live with. Pseudobulbar palsy is also known as involuntary emotional expression disorder because it affects the ability to smile and show emotions.

In more ways than just appearance, pseudobulbar palsy can greatly impact a person's everyday life. Because this condition affects the muscles in the face, the ability to swallow can be greatly affected. The muscles of the throat are connected to the muscles within the mouth, and many times people feel scared of choking while eating. Accurate diagnosis and treatment of pseudobulbar palsy are extremely important to provide patients with the specific treatment that they need.

Pseudobulbar Palsy is frequently misdiagnosed as a major depressive disorder. A study of the patient's speech, facial movement, and expressiveness is indicated to isolate the cause of the disorder. Electromyography (EMG), CT scan, or MRI will also help diagnose the cause and nature of the condition.

Management of pseudobulbar palsy will typically include:

  • Physical therapy.
  • Supportive care in developing alternative methods of communication.
  • Treatment of specific medical conditions associated with the disease (e.g., stroke, dementia, motor neuron disease).

Contact New York Facial Paralysis today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Teresa O, New York Facial Paralysis Center

Back to Blog