Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia

Hereditary spastic paraplegia, also known as familial spastic paraparesis, is a disorder that affects the stiffness and weakness of legs. The side effects of the disorder usually take place gradually over a long period of time. This could require a cane or a walker later in life and may influence eyesight such as cataracts. It is a hereditary disorder passed through family generations. There are no definite drugs to treat the disorder but regular exercise and physical therapy can help prevent intense symptoms. The disorder is very rare in the United States.

Cause: Hereditary spastic paraplegia is an inherited disorder with a similar appearance to cerebral palsy but is distinctly separate.

Classification: It is classified based on the symptoms, age of person, and the way it was inherited.

Symptoms: The symptoms are based on how the disorder was inherited. HSP affects the lower limbs mostly causing random spasms of different levels of severity. HSP also causes difficulty in walking and soreness in multiple parts of the leg. HSP can be begin at infancy to 60 plus years of age.

Treatment: There is no way to stop the effects of HSP, but there are various muscle relaxant drugs that can be used to prevent severe symptoms. The best form of treatment for HSP is physical therapy to keep muscles strong, flexible, and relaxed. If comprehensive treatment happens from the point of diagnosis, people with HSP can expect to have normal life spans.

Helpful Links:

Spastic Paraplegia Foundation, Inc.

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