Clinical and genetic aspects of hereditary spastic paraplegia in patients from Turkey

Neurol Neurochir Pol. 2020;54(2):176-184. doi: 10.5603/PJNNS.a2020.0026. Epub 2020 Apr 3.


Objectives: Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a heterogenous group of rare neurodegenerative disorders that present with lower limb spasticity. It is known as complicated HSP if spasticity is accompanied by additional features such as cognitive impairment, cerebellar syndrome, thin corpus callosum, or neuropathy. Most HSP families show autosomal dominant (AD) inheritance. On the other hand, autosomal recessive (AR) cases are also common because of the high frequency of consanguineous marriages in our country. This study aimed to investigate the clinical and genetic aetiology in a group of HSP patients.

Patients and methods: We studied 21 patients from 17 families. Six of them presented with recessive inheritance. All index patients were screened for ATL1 and SPAST gene mutations to determine the prevalence of the most frequent types of HSP in our cohort. Whole exome sequencing was performed for an AD-HSP family, in combination with homozygosity mapping for five selected AR-HSP families.

Results: Two novel causative variants were identified in PLP1 and SPG11 genes, respectively. Distribution of HSP mutations in our AD patients was found to be similar to European populations.

Conclusion: Our genetic studies confirmed that clinical analysis can be misleading when defining HSP subtypes. Genetic testing is an important tool for diagnosis and genetic counselling. However, in the majority of AR HSP cases, a genetic diagnosis is not possible.

Keywords: PLP1; Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease (PMD); SPG11; atlastin (ATL1); hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP); rare diseases; spastin (SPAST).

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mutation
  • Proteins
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary*
  • Spastin
  • Turkey


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proteins
  • SPG11 protein, human
  • ATL1 protein, human
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Spastin
  • SPAST protein, human