“Science has come a long way in the past several years in discovering the cellular processes that are affected by PLS and HSP. I look forward to the day that we have a cure.”
- Mark Weber, Esq., chairman of the SPF Research Grant Committee.
The Spastic Paraplegia Foundation is dedicated to advancing research and ultimately finding the cures for two closely related groups of neurodegenerative disorders termed Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia and Primary Lateral Sclerosis. These conditions share the common pathologic feature of degeneration principally of the upper motor neurons.
The impetus for forming the Foundation was inspired by the accelerating pace of research on these conditions. Dramatic breakthroughs have been made in the past decade, catapulting these conditions from being poorly understood to being on the threshold of significant treatment and cures.
Scientists have unraveled many of the riddles regarding the complicated biochemistry of these diseases. Many HSP genes have now been discovered as well as a gene for PLS. Animal models for these disorders are underway. These will enable investigators to uncover the biochemical processes that cause nerve degeneration and identify and test therapy targets.