2018 Annual Conference

Ahoy Matey, All Hands Hoay!

Registration is open for the 2018 Spastic Paraplegia Annual Conference Pittsburgh, PA June 22-23, 2018.  Join us to meet new friends, learn about the latest in scientific medical research and share strategies for living with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia and Primary Lateral Sclerosis.

The Spastic Paraplegia Foundation coordinates the world’s largest annual Spastic Paraplegia gathering – the Annual SPF Conference.  For two days, conference attendees meet to learn from world-leading researchers and clinicians, to network, to reunite with old friends and to make new ones.  Many people, from patients to caregivers to medical professionals, travel from all over the world to attend the conference.  The location moves each year, providing a broader opportunity for people to attend and travel.  Accessibility accommodations are kept in mind when planning and choosing conference locations.  Attendees have the opportunity to learn about spastic paraplegia relating to research, genetics, physical therapy, living with HSP and PLS, coping, caregiving, and more.

Sessions at the conference will include the process of selecting researchers who receive scientific and medical research grants from the SP-Foundation.  Researchers and doctors will share information about their work, updates on gene therapy, and CRISPR genome editing.  We will include breakout sessions for just men, just women, and just children in which each group can talk with each other about daily personal living issues.  If you have a concern or a question that you would like to submit ahead of time, please let us know, and we will address it during the breakout session.

There will be informative sessions on clinical research and related disorders for therapeutic development, the CReATe Consortium, human genetics and neurology.  John Fink, MD, who serves as the SP-Foundation's scientific medical advisor and is the Director of the Neurogenetic Disorders Clinic at the University of Michigan and Physician Scientist at the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center will speak and take questions on Saturday afternoon.  Additional speakers include Corey Braastad, PhD, Dale J. Lange, MD, Hiroshi Mitsumoto, MD, DSc, Sabrina Paganoni, MD PhD, Jeffery Statland, MD, Stephan Züchner, MD, PhD, and others.  We will also recognize the State Ambassadors and Donors at the conference.  There will be a special program for the children in the hotel courtyard.

Please register for the conference early for the best discounts at  The hotel is accepting reservations by calling the PITTSBURGH AIRPORT MARRIOTT at 412-490-6604, located on 777 Aten Rd., Coraopolis, PA 15108.  There is free parking, complimentary airport transportation and free Wi-Fi.  Mention “SPF” for a discounted room rate of $102 and let them know what time you need the handicap shuttle to pick you up at the airport.

Yo! Ho! Ho!  We will be pirating a course to Find a Cure, Raise Funds, and Participate in Research.  We are looking forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh.

See Ya Soon,

Norma Pruitt
SPF Conference Coordinator
(270) 705-0506