Disease - Spastic paraplegia 50, autosomal recessive
A form of spastic paraplegia, a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a slow, gradual, progressive weakness and spasticity of the lower limbs. Rate of progression and the severity of symptoms are quite variable. Initial symptoms may include difficulty with balance, weakness and stiffness in the legs, muscle spasms, and dragging the toes when walking. In some forms of the disorder, bladder symptoms (such as incontinence) may appear, or the weakness and stiffness may spread to other parts of the body. SPG50 affected individuals present postnatally with early infantile hypotonia, delayed psychomotor development, strabismus, lack of independent walking and severe mental retardation. They develop progressive spasticity of all limbs with generalized hypertonia, hyperreflexia, and extensor plantar responses by the end of the first year of life. Speech is absent or limited. Pseudobulbar signs, such as drooling, stereotypic laughter, and exaggerated jaw jerk, are part of the clinical picture.