Hereditary spastic paraplegia
Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis, Familial Spastic Paraparesis
Type of disease: Rare conditions
Hereditary spastic paraplegia is a group of hereditary, degenerative, neurological disorders that primarily affect the upper motor neurons. Upper motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord deliver signals to the lower motor neurons which in turn, carry messages to the muscles. In hereditary spastic paraplegia, upper motor neurons slowly degenerate so the muscles do not receive the correct messages causing progressive spasticity (increased muscle tone/stiffness) and weakness of the legs leading to difficulty walking. As degeneration continues, symptoms worsen. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.