How is HSP diagnosed?
HSP is diagnosed via a careful clinical examination, by excluding other disorders that cause spasticity and weakness in the legs, and by an observation period to see if other symptoms develop that indicate another condition, such as PLS. Disorders that can be ruled out with testing are ALS, tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP), vitamin deficiencies (B12 or E), thoracic spine herniated disks, and spinal cord tumors or injuries and multiple sclerosis. HSP can resemble cerebral palsy, however, HSP is degenerative and thereby causes increasing spasticity and weakness of the muscles. Two other disorders with spastic paraplegia symptoms termed Lathyrism and Konzo are caused by toxins in the plants Lathyrus sativus and cassava. HSP is hereditary, and examining family history is important in diagnosing HSP. However, many individuals with all the signs and symptoms of HSP do not have a family history. See (Apparently Sporadic) Spastic Paraparesis.