The cause of porcine congenital progressive ataxia and spastic paresis (CPA) is unknown. This severe neuropathy manifests shortly after birth and is lethal. The disease is inherited as a single autosomal recessive allele, designated cpa. In a previous study, we demonstrated close linkage of cpa to microsatellite SW902 on porcine chromosome 3 (SSC3), which corresponds syntenically to human chromosome 2. This latter chromosome contains ion channel genes (Ca(2+), K(+) and Na(+)), a cholinergic receptor gene and the spastin (SPG4) gene, which cause human epilepsy and ataxia when mutated. We mapped porcine CACNB4, KCNJ3, SCN2A and CHRNA1 to SSC15 and SPG4 to SSC3 with the INRA-Minnesota porcine radiation hybrid panel (IMpRH) and we sequenced the entire open reading frames of CACNB4 and SPG4 without finding any differences between healthy and affected piglets. An anti-epileptic drug treatment with ethosuximide did not change the severity of the disease, and pigs with CPA did not exhibit the corticospinal tract axonal degeneration found in humans suffering from hereditary spastic paraplegia, which is associated with mutations in SPG4. For all these reasons, the hypothesis that CACNB4, CHRNA1, KCNJ3, SCN2A or SPG4 are identical with the CPA gene was rejected.