Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg

University Department of Neurology

Specialized outpatient clinic for spastic paraplegia and cerebellar disease



Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Vielhaber


Tueday 08:00 - 12:00 a.m.

University Medical Center Magdeburg A.ö.R
University Department of Neurology
Leipziger Str. 44
39120 Magdeburg,

House 60a, floor -1

+49 (0391)67-15001 or -67-15031
+49 (0391)67-15216

Information on the consultation

The primary objective of this special consultation is to improve medical care and conduct research in the field of spastic and ataxic movement disorders that are the result of hereditary or acquired disorders of the central nervous system.

The following examinations and consultations are regularly offered:

Clinical Overview

Spastic Paraplegia

Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a group of hereditary degenerative diseases of the spinal cord that lead to a slowly progressing gait disturbance due to spasticity and weakness of the leg muscles. HSP is not a single disease: it is divided into more than 30 genetically defined subtypes. Several additional metabolic disorders such as an inflammation of the spinal cord or tumors can also produce a spastic paraplegia. Finding the cause of a spastic paraplegia is important because it determines how the paraplegia should be treated.

The specialized outpatient clinic at the Magdeburg University Hospital provides the resources for the accurate assessment of the causes of spastic paraplegia. The latest high-resolution neuroradiological techniques, such as high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (3 and 7 Tesla) are available. Collaborations with specialized institutions (human genetics, children’s hospital, neuropathlogy) as well as non-university facilities and research groups allow innovative auxiliary neurobiological investigations to be carried out.

Numerous specialized therapists (e.g., occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, social workers) complement the administration of a range of treatments. To achieve treatment regimens that are maximally effective, individually designed physiotherapy training programs (based on computer-assisted motion analysis) are conducted in conjunction with targeted pharmacotherapies and special treatment methods such as functional nerve stimulation,

To facilitate the study this disease and its various causes the hospital belongs to a nationwide multicenter HSP network designed to study HSP and improve the care of individuals who suffer from this condition. This network collects biomaterials (e.g. blood samples) using standardized procedures and maintains comprehensive anonymous patient files. These data are indispensable for documenting the course of HSP and conducting clinically important scientific investigations.

Cerebellar disorders (Ataxias)

This is a large group of nervous system disorders associated with disturbances of coordination and balance. These disorders may be hereditary or appear spontaneously. In most cases they progress slowly, and are characterized by a loss of specialized neural assemblies in specific regions of the brain including the cerebellum. This leads to problems in the interaction of different muscle groups and the harmonious execution of movements, producing a clinical profile of ataxia. The clinical manifestations include an unsafe gait pattern (ataxia), impaired balance and speech disturbances (dysarthria), and impairments in the area of fine motor skills.

A number of clinically and genetically distinct diseases can lead to ataxias of this type. In addition to hereditary conditions, such as the spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs), ataxias of this kind can be produced by various metabolic disorders such as inflammations of the cerebellum and spinal cord. In some cases, such as sporadic ataxia in adulthood, the cause of the disease is not yet known.

In collaboration with other disciplines (e.g., genetics), this consultation offers a comprehensive program of diagnostics, treatments, and counseling for patients with ataxic diseases. We gladly offer support to patients coping with the disease and their families, helping them address medical and social issues, providing assistive devices, and putting them in touch with contact groups.

In order to carry out research on the disease and detect its various causes, the hospital belongs to a countrywide multicenter clinical network designed to study and improve the clinical care of people who suffer from a degenerative cerebellar ataxia. This network collects biomaterials (e.g. blood samples) using standardized procedures and maintains comprehensive anonymous patient files. These data are indispensable for documenting the course of the cerebellar ataxias and conducting clinically important scientific investigations.

previous next
Last Modification: 26.02.2018 - Contact Person: Ögelin Düzel
Multiple Sclerosis