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Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia

Abstract

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NORD is very grateful to Martha A. Nance, MD, Medical Director, Struthers Parkinson’s Center, Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, Spastic Paraplegia Foundation, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia

  • familial spastic paraplegia
  • FSP
  • HSP
  • spastic spinal familial paraplegia
  • Strumpell disease
  • Strumpell-Lorrain familial spasmodic paraplegia
  • Strumpell-Lorrain syndrome
  • Strumpell’s familial paraplegia

Disorder Subdivisions

  • SPG1-SPG52

General Discussion

Summary
Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a general term for an expanding group of rare genetic disorders characterized by slowly progressive weakness (paraplegia) and increased muscle tone and stiffness (spasticity) of leg muscles. The age of onset, rate of progression, associated symptoms, degree of muscle weakness and spasticity, and overall severity of HSP can vary greatly from one person to another, even among individuals with the same subtype or among individuals within the same family. HSP is classified as "pure" or "uncomplicated" if the symptoms are primarily confined to the aforementioned lower limb weakness and spasticity. Other symptoms can occur in the pure subtypes including bladder dysfunction or abnormal sensations in the lower legs or feet. HSP is classified as "complex" or "complicated" if additional symptoms are present such as an inability to coordinate voluntary movements (ataxia), seizures, intellectual disability, skin disease, dementia, and hearing and vision abnormalities. Individual forms of HSP are caused by a mutation to a specific gene. HSP can be inherited as autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X-linked condition.

Introduction
HSP was first reported in the medical literature in the 1880s by a German doctor named Adolph Strumpell. A French doctor named Maurice Lorrain provided further detailed descriptions of the disorder shortly thereafter. More than 50 different forms of HSP have been identified in the ensuing years. Several different names have been used to describe these disorders. Recently, researchers have proposed a classification system that names each subtype by the official abbreviation SPG and a number (e.g. SPG1). The subtypes a numbered in the order they were identified in the medical literature. HSPs are a rapidly growing disease family and information about these disorders is constantly changing.

Organizations related to Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia

NORD offers an online community for this rare disease. RareConnect was created by EURORDIS (European Rare Disease Organisation) and NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders) to provide a safe space where individuals and families affected by rare diseases can connect with each other, share vital experiences, and find helpful information and resources. You can view these international, rare disease communities at www.rareconnect.org.

The information in NORD’s Rare Disease Database is for educational purposes only. It should never be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. If you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. NORD’s reports provide a brief overview of rare diseases. For more specific information, we encourage you to contact your personal physician or the agencies listed as “Resources” on this report.

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