Outcome Measures and Biomarkers for Clinical Trials in Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia: A Scoping Review

Genes (Basel). 2023 Sep 3;14(9):1756. doi: 10.3390/genes14091756.


Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is characterized by progressive lower limb spasticity. There is no disease-modifying treatment currently available. Therefore, standardized, validated outcome measures to facilitate clinical trials are urgently needed. We performed a scoping review of outcome measures and biomarkers for HSP to provide recommendations for future studies and identify areas for further research. We searched Embase, Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, and the Central Cochrane database. Seventy studies met the inclusion criteria, and eighty-three outcome measures were identified. The Spastic Paraplegia Rating Scale (SPRS) was the most widely used (27 studies), followed by the modified Ashworth Scale (18 studies) and magnetic resonance imaging (17 studies). Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) were infrequently used to assess treatment outcomes (28% of interventional studies). Diffusion tensor imaging, gait analysis and neurofilament light chain levels were the most promising biomarkers in terms of being able to differentiate patients from controls and correlate with clinical disease severity. Overall, we found variability and inconsistencies in use of outcome measures with a paucity of longitudinal data. We highlight the need for (1) a standardized set of core outcome measures, (2) validation of existing biomarkers, and (3) inclusion of PROMs in HSP clinical trials.

Keywords: biomarkers; clinical trials; hereditary spastic paraplegia; outcome measures; scoping review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Paraplegia
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary* / diagnosis
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary* / genetics
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary* / therapy


  • Biomarkers

Grants and funding

S.-F.S. is the recipient of the National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists Postgraduate Scholarships APP113610.