Coexistence of PSP and MSA: A case report and review of the literature

Hirotake Uchikado, Anthony DelleDonne, Ryan Uitti, Dennis W. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a neurodegenerative tauopathy characterized by Parkinsonism, vertical gaze palsy, and early falls. The neuropathology is characterized by neurofibrillary tangles, tufted astrocytes, and coiled bodies, but some brains show other pathologic processes. To investigate the frequency of α-synuclein pathology in PSP with immunohistochemistry and to report the clinical and pathological features of a case of PSP with concomitant Multiple system atrophy (MSA) (PSP/MSA), 290 cases of PSP were screened for α-synuclein pathology with immunohistochemistry. Double-labeling immunohistochemistry was performed on a case of PSP/MSA. Among the PSP cases screened for α-synuclein pathology, a single case of PSP/MSA was detected. The patient was an 86-year-old woman with clinical features consistent with PSP. She had no documented dysautonomia or cerebellar signs, and imaging studies were not diagnostic of MSA. Pathological examination showed τ-immunoreactive neuronal and glial lesions consistent with PSP as well as α-synuclein immunoreactive glial cytoplasmic inclusions diagnostic of MSA. Double-immunolabeling studies showed no co-localization of α-synuclein and τ in most neuronal and glial lesions. Based upon the findings in this case, the neuropathologic changes of PSP and MSA are distinct and independent processes, but they can occasionally coexist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-192
Number of pages7
JournalActa neuropathologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Tau
  • α-Synuclein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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