Am having difficulty finding information about Bulbar Palsy. What are the symptoms? How does it differ from Psuedo Bulbar Palsy? Is this a progressive disease? Someone told me it leads to ALS (?) Any help would be appreciated.
Bulbar palsy is not the name of a specific disease. It is a collection of signs and symptoms (that is, a syndrome) which may be associated with particular diseases. For example, a bulbar palsy can be a part of ALS, stroke, inflammatory diseases, etc. But it is not exactly correct to say that bulbar palsy "leads to" ALS, for example.
In particular, bulbar refers to the lower brainstem, which is the control center for the cranial nerves 7-12. Palsy means weakness. That is, if muscles controlled by cranial nerves 7-12 are weak, then you talk about a bulbar palsy.
Symptoms would include trouble speaking, swallowing, coughing, using the tongue, and perhaps some trouble with facial expression.
Bulbar palsy is when the signs point directly to brainstem or lower cranial nerve damage. Pseudobulbar palsy results when the connections from the cerebral cortex (above) are disrupted, so the voluntary control is messed up but there is no intrinsic damage to the brainstem or cranial nerves themselves. Pseudobulbar palsy is seen in certain cases involving strokes on both hemispheres of the brain, and in certain degenerative disorders.
I hope this helps. Of course, this information is provided for your general medical education only. Specific comments regarding diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options must come from your physician after appropriate evaluation. CCF MD mdf.
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