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Arch Neurol. 2007 May;64(5):706-13.

Hereditary spastic paraplegia 3A associated with axonal neuropathy.

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Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Sofia Medical University, Sofia, Bulgaria.



To study the frequency and distribution of mutations in SPG3A in a large cohort of patients with hereditary spastic paraplegia.


We screened a large cohort of 182 families and isolated cases with pure or complex hereditary spastic paraplegia phenotypes, which were negative for mutations in SPG4.


In 12 probands (6.6%), we identified 12 different SPG3A mutations (11 missense and 1 insertion/frameshift) of which 7 were novel and 3 were de novo. We found incomplete penetrance in 1 family (G482V). In most cases, SPG3A mutations were associated with an early age at onset (mean, 3 y); however, in 1 family (R495W mutation), symptoms started later (mean, 14 y) with clear intrafamilial variability (8-28 y). Six patients with an SPG3A mutation (F151S, Q191R, M408T, G469A, R495W) originating from 5 unrelated families presented with a complex form of hereditary spastic paraplegia associated with a neuropathy (17%). Our electrophysiological and pathological findings confirmed an axonal sensory-motor neuropathy. There was no correlation between the genotype and the presence of a neuropathy.


We conclude that mutations in SPG3A represent an important cause of patients in the overall hereditary spastic paraplegia population. SPG3A is more often associated with a neuropathy than previously assumed. Therefore, patients with a bipyramidal syndrome and a neuropathy should be screened for mutations in SPG3A.

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