Hong Kong Med J 2009;15:217-20 | Number 3, June 2009
Hereditary spastic paraplegias
KK Lau, CK Ching, Chloe M Mak, YW Chan
Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Princess Margaret Hospital, Laichikok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
We report a case of hereditary spastic paraplegia. This 38-year-old Chinese man has had lower limb weakness and spasticity for 10 years. He has normal cognition, no sensory deficits, ataxia or cataracts. There is a strong family history of spastic paraplegia. His paternal grandmother, great uncle, father, and elder brother all had weakness and spasticity. A genetic analysis showed that our patient was heterozygous for the mutation p.P361L in SPG4. He was diagnosed with spastic paraplegia type 4, autosomal dominant (SPG4, MIM#182601). About 40% of cases of hereditary spastic paraplegia are due to mutations in SPG4 encoding for spastin, while 10% are due to mutations in SPG3A encoding for atlastin. To date, 38 hereditary spastic paraplegia loci and 16 hereditary spastic paraplegia-related genes have been identified. Other features include sphincter disturbance and dorsal column disturbance. Our patient may be the first case of SPG4 confirmed by genetic analysis locally. We hope to raise clinicians' awareness of this disease and its possible molecular diagnosis.
Key words: DNA mutational analysis; Mutation; Spastic paraplegia, hereditary
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