Study of 150 Dutch with SPG4 HSP

Huge diversity found

27 new mutations discovered


In the clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of the hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs), mutations in the SPAST gene are most frequently found and cause a pure autosomal dominant form.


To provide the clinical and genetic characteristics of Dutch patients with HSP due to a SPAST mutation (SPG4).


SPAST mutation carriers were identified through a comprehensive national database search. Available medical records were reviewed.


151 mutation carriers carried 60 different changes in the SPAST gene, of which one was a known polymorphism, and 27 were novel.

Missense mutations were most frequently found (39%).

Clinical information was available from 72 mutation carriers.

Age at onset ranged from 1 to 63 years with a bimodal peak distribution in the first decade and above age 30.

The predominantly pure spastic paraplegia was accompanied by deep sensory disturbances and sphincter problems in almost 50%. An additional hand tremor was found in 10%.

Patients with missense mutations and exon deletions did not reveal a distinctive phenotype.


Dutch SPAST mutation carriers show a broad mutation spectrum, with 27 novel mutations in the present series. A bimodal peak distribution in age at onset was found and an accompanying tremor as peculiar feature of SPG4. The pathogenicity of S44L, the first exon 4 mutation, and a possible autosomal recessive mode of inheritance are discussed.

SOURCE: J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2010 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print]

Hereditary spastic paraplegia due to SPAST mutations in 151 Dutch patients: new clinical aspects and 27 novel mutations.

de Bot ST, van den Elzen RT, Mensenkamp AR, Schelhaas HJ, Willemsen MA, Knoers NV, Kremer HP, van de Warrenburg BP, Scheffer H.

Department of Neurology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Donders Centre for Brain Cognition and Behaviour, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

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