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About SPG4

The most common subtype of a group of rare neurologic disorders called HSP, or Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.

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What is SPG4?

SPG4 is the most common subtype of a group of rare neurologic disorders called HSP, or Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. The primary symptom of HSP is difficulty walking due to muscle weakness and tightness (spasticity) in the legs. The severity of symptoms usually worsens over time.

What Causes SPG4?

SPG4 Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia is caused by a gene mutation. Gene mutations are small errors in our DNA that can cause big problems. Patients with SPG4 have a mutation in a gene called SPAST, which helps motor neurons function properly in the brain and spinal cord.

The age at which symptoms first develop can range from infancy to late adulthood. Patients often start out without any signs of disease, but they then begin to notice a steady decline in their ability to run, jump, and walk.

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You Can Help Find a Cure

There is currently no cure for SPG4 Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, and the only

currently-available treatments do little to nothing to stop the progression of the disease. SPG4 is progressive and unpredictable. It can lead to the loss of the ability to walk and leads to severe pain from spasticity.  Because the disease is so rare, there is less incentive for companies to devote money towards researching the disease and its cure. Therefore, it is critical for affected individuals, their families, and generous donors to help fund the research necessary to help find a cure.