Spastic Paraplegia 7

In: GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993.
[updated ].


Clinical characteristics: Spastic paraplegia 7 (SPG7) is characterized by insidiously progressive bilateral leg weakness and spasticity. Most affected individuals have decreased vibration sense and cerebellar signs. Onset is mostly in adulthood, although symptoms may start as early as age 11 years and as late as age 72 years. Additional features including ataxia (gait and limbs), spastic dysarthria, dysphagia, pale optic disks, ataxia, nystagmus, strabismus, ptosis, hearing loss, motor and sensory neuropathy, amyotrophy, scoliosis, pes cavus, and urinary sphincter disturbances may be observed.

Diagnosis/testing: The diagnosis of SPG7 is established in a proband with typical clinical findings and biallelic pathogenic variants in SPG7 identified by molecular genetic testing.

Management: Treatment of manifestations: Drugs that may reduce spasticity and muscle tightness include baclofen, tizanidine, dantrolene, and diazepam. Physical therapy and assistive walking devices often reduce contractures, provide support, and promote stability. Occupational therapy and speech therapy help with activities of daily living.

Surveillance: Annual neurologic evaluation to identify potential complications of spasticity, such as contractures.

Genetic counseling: SPG7 is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. Heterozygotes (carriers) are usually asymptomatic. Each sib of an affected individual has a 25% chance of being affected, a 50% chance of being an asymptomatic carrier, and a 25% chance of being unaffected and not a carrier. Carrier testing for at-risk relatives, prenatal testing for a pregnancy at increased risk and preimplantation genetic testing are possible if both pathogenic alleles have been identified in the family.

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