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Coleen Cunningham Foundation

PSP AWARENESS

Rossy Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Centre

 

Rossy PSP Centre Toronto Canada

 

 

The Rossy PSP Centre, Toronto Ontario

Welcome to the Rossy Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) Centre. A highly specialized team of healthcare professionals conducting intensive clinical care and research in order to advance knowledge of PSP and related disorders.

FAQ's

Why am I referred to the Rossy PSP Centre?

As a patient diagnosed with PSP or a related disorder, we believe is important that you receive specialized care. As part of our program you are moving knowledge forward and contributing to advancements in the field.

What happens at my appointment?

Our team will assess the state of your condition and conduct other specific tests such as a memory test or collect bio-samples such as a blood test. These assessments will provide a full clinical picture to help the doctors understand you and your condition better.

When and where will my appointments be?

Your appointments will be at the Movement Disorders Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, scheduled for every 6 months. Virtual/remote appointments via Ontario Telehealth Network may be an option.

Is there anything extra that I must do?

There is nothing extra that you must do as a patient of our program. However, if there are questionnaires or tests you are asked to complete ahead of time, it is recommended that you do so before your appointment so that we are able to provide you with the proper care.

PSP Appointments: Please call Tel: (416) 603 6422

Questions about the program: Please call Puja Bhakta Tel: (416) 603-5800 ext. 5234

Email: rossypsp@uhn.ca

Mailing Address:

Toronto Western Hospital - Rossy Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Centre

399 Bathurst St. Movement Disorders Clinic, McLaughlin Wing 7th floor

Toronto, ON M5T 2S8

Tel: (416) 603 6422

Fax: (416) 603 5004

 

Tracing the paths to disease

The study, led by Dr. Gabor Kovacs of UHN’s Krembil Research Institute, maps the regions of the brain where pathological tau proteins arise in individuals with various sub-types of progressive supranuclear palsy. These sub-types include Richardson syndrome and Parkinsonism. 

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare brain disorder with no known cure. As it worsens, the disease can cause serious problems with walking, balance, eye movements, swallowing, as well as changes in mood and thinking.

A recent large-scale international study led by Krembil Senior Scientist Dr. Gabor Kovacs identified the underlying stages of disease, which are key to better managing symptoms and developing targets for therapy. 

"This is the first study that attempts to define stages of PSP," says Dr. Kovacs. "By knowing where to look, we can better monitor patients and better predict prognoses."

The research project included international collaborators, including Dr. John Trojanowski from the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Günter Höglinger from the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Disease. Together, the research team evaluated more than 200 brains affected by PSP and defined six stages of disease progression.

An abnormal protein, known as the pathological tau protein, is seen in the brains of individuals with PSP. The researchers traced how this protein spreads through the brain in distinct paths for each clinical sub-type. The findings showed that irrespective of the disease's clinical sub-type the first stage of PSP develops in the same brain region.

"Knowing where the pathological accumulation of the tau protein starts in the brain, means that we can now focus on researching this area specifically," says Dr. Kovacs. "Because this region comprises unique cell populations with different receptors or metabolic activity — we will get a better idea of which brain cells to target with therapy in the early stages of PSP."

The study was also able to show that the major difference between clinical sub-types of PSP relates not only to the involvement of nerve cells but also to the supporting cells called astroglia and oligodendroglia.

"We've provided a conceptual framework for the spread of tau to understand the mechanisms of how pathological tau jumps from one neuron to the next neuron and how the supporting tissue plays a role," says Dr. Kovacs. "With this understanding, we hope to provide a foundation for basic research to develop blocking agents or therapies to stop the spread of the tau protein."

Dr. Kovacs is Co-Director of the Rossy Program for PSP research, which is led by Dr. Anthony Lang, Director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital. Funding for the study was obtained by Dr. Lang. Under the directorship of Dr. Lang and a team of world-leading researchers in movement disorders, it is the only program in Canada dedicated to PSP research and care. The research was also supported by Open Access funding from Projekt DEAL, the National Institutes of Health, the Penn Institute on Aging, Fundació Marató de TV3, the Rossy Foundation, the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, the Bishop Dr. Karl Golser Foundation, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the NOMIS Foundation and the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation.

Read more about the study

The Coleen Cunningham Foundation serves individuals and families dealing with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) and Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD).

Our Non Profit Foundation Board is composed of volunteers who each have a personal connection to Atypical Parkinsonsim. Having experienced the frustration first hand and felt by so many families affected by Atypical Parkinsonism (difficulty getting a diagnosis, healthcare teams unfamiliar with the diseases, lack of information and support in the community) We are passionate about not wanting another family in Canada to face the same challenges. Our aim is to become a National Charity serving all Canadians affected by PSP, MSA and CBD.

No One Walks Alone!