Spastic Paraplegia 11

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


Clinical characteristics: Spastic paraplegia 11 (SPG11) is characterized by progressive spasticity and weakness of the lower limbs frequently associated with the following: mild intellectual disability with learning difficulties in childhood and/or progressive cognitive decline; peripheral neuropathy; pseudobulbar involvement; and increased reflexes in the upper limbs. Less frequent findings include: cerebellar signs (ataxia, nystagmus, saccadic pursuit); retinal degeneration; pes cavus; scoliosis; and parkinsonism with characteristic brain MRI features that include thinning of the corpus callosum. Onset occurs mainly during infancy or adolescence (range: age 1-31 years) and in rare cases as late as age 60 years. Most affected individuals become wheelchair bound one or two decades after disease onset.

Diagnosis/testing: The diagnosis of SPG11 is established in a proband with characteristic clinical and MRI findings and biallelic pathogenic variants in SPG11 identified on molecular genetic testing.

Management: Treatment of manifestations: Care by a multidisciplinary team; physiotherapy to stretch spastic muscles; antispastic drugs such as baclofen; botulin toxin and intrathecal baclofen for severe and disabling spasticity when oral drugs are ineffective. Urodynamic evaluation when bladder dysfunction is evident; anticholinergic drugs for urinary urgency. Treatment of psychiatric manifestations by standard protocols.

Prevention of secondary complications: Treatment of sphincter disturbances to prevent urinary tract infection secondary to bladder dysfunction.

Surveillance: Evaluation every six months to adjust physiotherapy and medications.

Genetic counseling: SPG11 is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. If each parent is known to be heterozygous for an SPG11 pathogenic variant, each sib of an affected individual has at conception a 25% chance of being affected, a 50% chance of being a carrier, and a 25% chance of being unaffected and not a carrier. Carrier testing for at-risk family members and prenatal testing for at-risk pregnancies are possible once the pathogenic variants in a family are known.

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