Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a group of inherited disorders characterized by spasticity with or without other neurologic symptoms.


Symptoms of HSP may be present at birth or may arise later in life. Symptoms typically progress slowly and may eventually result in the need for assistive devices for walking (cane, walker, wheelchair, etc.). These symptoms include:

  • Progressive weakness and spasticity in the legs
  • Mobility difficulties
  • Impaired vision due to cataracts or problems with the optic nerve and retina
  • Deafness or difficulty hearing
  • Ataxia—loss of muscle coordination
  • Epilepsy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Cognitive impairment


Treatments of HSP mainly aim to treat symptoms, such as management of spasticity with medication and regular physical therapy. Prognosis of the disease is dependent on severity of impairment and etiology. For information about the services available at Kennedy Krieger Institute, please call the number below or click the request an appointment button. 

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