[Familial spastic paraplegia with severe amyotrophy of the hands. (Silver syndrome?)]

Rev Neurol (Paris). 2007 Apr;163(4):476-9. doi: 10.1016/s0035-3787(07)90424-5.
[Article in French]


Familial spastic paraplegia (FSP) with severe muscular atrophy of hands and feet is exceptional. Autosomal dominant forms were initially described by Silver in 1966. We report two cases, from the same Tunisian family, presenting FSP with severe amyotrophy of the hands. A brother and his sister, aged respectively 37 and 36 years old, presented practically the same clinical picture. Their parents were cousins. The female patient was hospitalized. Both patients developed gait disorders around the age of three years. Muscular atrophy of the hands arose much later, around the age of 20 years. The neurological examination disclosed a spastic gait with distal amyotrophy, severe in the hands and moderate in the feet. Sensitivity was preserved and there was no fasciculation. The spinal cord and cerebral MRI was normal. Electromyography (EMG) showed a neurogenic pattern in the distal muscles. Stimulation of the median, ulnar and sciatica nerves was ineffective. The somatosensory evoked potentials (EP) were delayed (upper limb) or desynchronised (lower limb). The auditory and visual EP were normal. The cerebrospinal fluid contained 1 mononuclear cell/mm3 and 10 mg protein/100 ml. Abnormalities of the cranio-vertebral junction, Arnold-Chiari malformation, syringomyelia and familial juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were excluded and the diagnosis of Silver's syndrome was evoked.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brachial Plexus Neuritis / genetics
  • Brachial Plexus Neuritis / pathology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electromyography
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology
  • Female
  • Foot / pathology
  • Hand / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Paraplegia / genetics
  • Paraplegia / pathology*
  • Pedigree
  • Syndrome