Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), also called familial spastic paraparesis (FSP), refers to a group of inherited disorders that are characterized by progressive weakness and spasticity or stiffness of the legs. Early in the disease course, there may be mild gait difficulties and stiffness. These symptoms progress gradually and people affected may require the assistance of a cane, walker or wheelchair.
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?
Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia cannot be completely cured or treated. However, the doctor can make it less painful and also in managing the condition. These treatments include muscle relaxants orally or through injections. In addition, physiotherapy exercises may be suggested to remove the stiffness and make some movements possible.
DID YOU KNOW?
The disease is not very common and only 2-6 out of 1,00,000 persons across the globe are affected from it in very serious forms.