Tropical spastic paraparesis, or TSP is a rare disease affecting the nervous system. Symptoms worsen with time including muscle weakness, stiff muscles, random uncontrollable muscle movements, and a gradual loss of senses like seeing. TSP is caused by a retrovirus called human T-cell lymphotrophic virus type 1 (HTLV-1).
Less than 2% of those with HTLV-1 will experience TSP. HTLV-1 can be passed between people by using infected needles, having sexual relations with someone with the disease, or a mother with the disease breast-feeding her baby. Most individuals with TSP will not show any symptoms at first and may not show any throughout their life. There is no cure for tropical spastic paraparesis, but some drugs may be used to help with symptoms. Always speak with your doctor about the best personal plan of action.
Description Last Updated: May 12, 2018