Learn About Spastic Paraplegia Type 4

What is the definition of Spastic Paraplegia Type 4?

Spastic paraplegia type 4 (also known as SPG4) is the most common of a group of genetic disorders known as hereditary spastic paraplegias. These disorders are characterized by progressive muscle stiffness (spasticity) in the legs and difficulty walking. Hereditary spastic paraplegias are divided into two types: pure and complex. The pure types generally involve only spasticity of the lower limbs and walking difficulties. The complex types involve more widespread problems with the nervous system; the structure or functioning of the brain; and the nerves connecting the brain and spinal cord to muscles and sensory cells that detect sensations such as touch, pain, heat, and sound (the peripheral nervous system). In complex forms, there can also be features outside of the nervous system. Spastic paraplegia type 4 is usually a pure hereditary spastic paraplegia, although a few complex cases have been reported.

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What are the causes of Spastic Paraplegia Type 4?

Mutations in the SPAST gene cause spastic paraplegia type 4. The SPAST gene provides instructions for producing a protein called spastin. Spastin is found throughout the body, particularly in certain nerve cells (neurons). The spastin protein plays a role in the function of microtubules, which are rigid, hollow fibers that make up the cell's structural framework (the cytoskeleton). Microtubules are also involved in transporting cell components and facilitating cell division. Spastin likely helps restrict microtubule length and disassemble microtubule structures when they are no longer needed. Mutations in spastin impair the microtubules' ability to transport cell compartments (organelles), especially in nerve cells; researchers believe this contributes to the major signs and symptoms of spastic paraplegia type 4.

How prevalent is Spastic Paraplegia Type 4?

The prevalence of spastic paraplegia type 4 is estimated to be 2 to 6 in 100,000 people worldwide.

Is Spastic Paraplegia Type 4 an inherited disorder?

This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder.

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What are the latest Spastic Paraplegia Type 4 Clinical Trials?
Studying the Prodromal and Early Phase of Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia Type 4 (SPG4)

Summary: Study goals Prospective longitudinal data on progression in the natural course of SPG4 in presymptomatic mutation carriers prior to clinical disease onset and in early stages of disease Biomarkers providing objective measures of disease activity

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Registry and Natural History Study for Early Onset Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP)

Summary: The Registry and Natural History Study for Early Onset Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) is focused on gathering longitudinal clinical data as well as biological samples (skin and/or blood and/or saliva) from male or female patients who exhibited onset of HSP symptoms at 18 years old or younger with (1) a clinical diagnosis of hereditary spastic paraplegia and/or (2) the presence of variants in ...

Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: July 01, 2020Published By: National Institutes of Health

What are the Latest Advances for Spastic Paraplegia Type 4?
Identification of SPAST gene variant in a pedigree affected with hereditary spastic paraplegia type 4.
Non-motor symptoms are relevant and possibly treatable in hereditary spastic paraplegia type 4 (SPG4).
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