HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP): Case based discussion of risk factors, clinical, and therapeutic considerations

by | Mar 24, 2024 | Publications

J Neurol Sci. 2024 Mar 19;459:122973. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2024.122973. Online ahead of print.


HTLV-1 is a retrovirus virus that infects CD4+ T cells. Most people with HTLV-1 infection remain asymptomatic but some may develop conditions such as HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) or adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. HAM/TSP is characterized by progressive spasticity and weakness of the lower extremities, as well as loss of bladder control and sensory disturbances. The risk of developing HAM/TSP is associated with the duration of infection and the proviral load. There is currently no cure for the disease but medications can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. This is the case of a 66-year-old female who presented with nonspecific symptoms of weakness and spasticity in a hospital in Connecticut and was subsequently diagnosed with HAM/TSP. The patient’s diagnosis highlights the importance of considering diseases previously confined to specific endemic regions in a globalized world where increased emigration and population mixing can occur. Early identification and management of such cases is essential for optimizing patient outcomes and quality of life.

PMID:38520941 | DOI:10.1016/j.jns.2024.122973

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