What Is Progressive Bulbar Palsy?

Progressive bulbar palsy is a motor neuron disorder that involves the lower motor neurons. These neurons conduct messages from the brain stem and spinal cord to the brain. Initially, patients with progressive bulbar palsy only have muscle weakness that affects speech and swallowing. However, this condition can often progress to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS.


Symptoms of progressive bulbar palsy can include the following:

  • Pharyngeal muscle weakness (affects swallowing)
  • Weak jaw and facial muscles
  • Progressive loss of speech
  • Tongue muscle atrophy
  • Weak limbs

Sometimes individuals with this condition also have outbursts of laughing or crying, which is called emotional lability. Specific risks for the patient are choking, gagging, and a higher risk of pneumonia.

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Support Groups

MDA-Sponsored ALS Family Support Group

Time: First Tuesday every month
Location: 5709 S 1500 W
Taylorsville, UT 84123

Peer Support Group for Caregivers

Time: 7 pm, second Thursday of each month
Location: Murray City Senior Center
10 E. 6150 S.

ALS Association-Sponsored ALS Family Support Group

Time: 2nd Tuesday of every Month, 2-3:30pm
Riverton Senior Center
Room D
12914 Redwood Rd
Riverton, UT 84065

Time: 3rd Thursday of every Month, 6-7 pm
Location: Northern Utah
First Baptist Church of Roy
2025 W 5700 S
Roy, UT 84067

Time: 4th Thursday of every month, 1-2:30 pm
Location: Southern Utah
Lindon Senior Center
25 Main St.
Lindon, UT 84042