Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) Community

Here's a selection of information from patients & professionals to better understand Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP).

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers:

If you are a patient or carer with a question about living with HSP, about treatments, or other relevant information please email write your on the forum.

  • How is HSP diagnosed?

    HSP is diagnosed via a careful clinical examination, by excluding other disorders that cause spasticity and weakness in the legs, and by an observation period to see if other symptoms develop that ...

  • How severe will my symptoms get?

    There is no way to predict rate of progression or severity of symptoms. Generally, once symptoms begin, progression continues slowly throughout life. For some childhood-onset forms, symptoms become...

  • How does HSP cause symptoms?

    HSP is caused by degeneration of the upper motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Upper motor neurons control voluntary movement.

    The cell bodies of these neurons are located in the motor c...

  • Why are my symptoms different from others in my family?

    As noted before, the severity of symptoms and age of onset can vary widely, even within the same family. One reason is that HSP is a group of genetically different disorders, not a single disorder....

  • What are the symptoms of HSP?

    The hallmark of HSP is progressive difficulty walking due to increasingly weak and stiff (spastic) muscles. Symptoms appear in most people between the second and fourth decade of life, but they can...