Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia is among the rare disorders acquired through genetic causes. The disorder has different levels of progression in different individuals and can display varying symptoms, including in terms of their severity. These symptoms include weakness in the muscles and a gradual development of stiffness in the muscles. In some cases, bladder dysfunction is also observed as a manifestation of Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.
HOW IS HEREDITARY SPASTIC PARAPLEGIA DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis of HSP is based upon identification of characteristic symptoms, a detailed patient history and a thorough clinical evaluation. A variety of specialized tests such as neuroimaging and neurophysiologic studies may be required to rule out other conditions. Routine lab tests, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, electromyography and nerve conduction studies are normal in individuals with HSP. Molecular genetic testing is recommended for some subtypes of HSP on a clinical basis.
HOW IS HEREDITARY SPASTIC PARAPLEGIA TREATED?
There is no specific therapy for HSP. Treatment is directed toward the specific symptoms that are apparent in each individual. Regular physical therapy may be beneficial in maintaining and improving muscle tone and strength. Physical therapists can also recommend exercises to help a person maintain flexibility and range of motion and reduce spasticity. Medications may help to reduce muscle spasticity and improve gait. Genetic counseling is important for affected individuals and their families.
DID YOU KNOW?
Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia is not a life threatening condition, though many adjustments have to be made, like using a wheelchair.