Symptoms and Causes of Pseudobulbar Palsy

Pseudobulbar palsy is a condition wherein the affected individual is unable to control facial movements. Difficulty speaking, eating or swallowing, and uncontrollable laughing or crying are symptomatic of this neurological disorder. Facial muscle weakness, emotional lability, dysarthria (slowed or slurred speech), dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), dysphonia (vocal cord muscle spasms) and progressive immobility of the tongue are also symptoms of pseudobulbar palsy.

Pseudobular Palsy is frequently misdiagnosed as 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.

There are numerous potential causes of pseudobulbar palsy, including the following:

  • Motor neuron disease
  • Head injury
  • High brain stem tumors
  • Vascular – bilateral hemisphere infarction, cerebrovascular disorder
  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Pseudobulbar Palsy Treatment

There is currently no cure for pseudobulbar palsy. Treatment, therefore, is focused on treating whatever underlying disease is causing the condition. Management of the disorder will include physical therapy, supportive care in developing alternative methods of communication and treatment of specific medical conditions associated with the disease (e.g. motor neuron disease, dementia).

When pseudobulbar palsy results from a stroke, symptoms can gradually dissipate over time with the aid of therapy. Speech and language therapy as well as dietary assistance are also instrumental in management of pseudobulbar palsy syndrome.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your condition with one of our specialists.