Living with WMS, Partnerships, Research Highlights

The Natural History Study

How do I join?

Just email that you are interested to the email below. Non-English is okay!

Contact Person:

Catherine Jordan

The Clinical Trial website is here.
The study is sponsored by Boston Children’s Hospital.

What if I live outside the US?

They have translators available for all languages AND you can join via telehealth appointments using the internet!
There is no cost to you.


What is a natural history study?

On your call for your appointment, you will answer questions about your child’s symptoms and quality of life so they can be tracked over time. You can also ask the doctor any questions you have about Warburg Micro Syndrome.

A natural history study collects patient experiences to study the typical outcomes of a disease.

While the Warburg Micro Registry focuses on WMS specific symptoms, the Boston study focuses on all early onset Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias as a group. The study will also take patient samples to try to identify biomarkers. Biomarkers are levels of substances in the blood or tissues that correspond to the severity of the disease symptoms


What are the aims of the Boston early-onset study?

The study will:

                 1.  Examine the core clinical, imaging, and molecular features of pediatric onset hereditary spastic paraplegia.

                 2.  Define clinically meaningful endpoints for future interventional trials. 

                 3.  Collect samples for investigation that will help identify biomarkers and novel targets for therapy.

                 4.  Make clinical information and samples available to investigators around the world after approval.

Why is this study so important?

Natural history studies are important to therapy development. They set a scientific baseline. That can help tell clinicians and researchers judge how severe a disorder is in a patient.

For example, as the disease progresses, something called “neurofilament levels” might go up. If we know that, then when we see a drug decreases those levels, we might help prove it’s working.

Also, although the FDA doesn’t require a natural history study for drug approval, it looks highly upon them.

Participation in this study by children with Warburg Micro is essential not only for the reasons listed in the previous section, but because it may help cement the disorder’s place in the world of early-onset spastic paraplegia research.

Study Design

Study Type  :Observational 
Estimated Enrollment  :400 participants
Observational Model:Cohort
Time Perspective:Prospective
Target Follow-Up Duration:4 Years
Official Title:Registry and Natural History Study
for Early Onset Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP)
Actual Study Start Date  :April 27, 2020
Primary Completion Date  :April 26, 2024
Study Completion Date  :April 26, 2025

Huml, R. A., Dawson, J., Bailey, M., Nakas, N., Williams, J., Kolochavina, M., & Huml, J. R. (2021). Accelerating Rare Disease Drug Development: Lessons Learned from Muscular Dystrophy Patient Advocacy Groups. Therapeutic innovation & regulatory science55(2), 370–377.

Last updated: 6/24/2022

Disclaimer: Families should consult a medical professional for genetic diagnosis, management and health concerns. We provide external links to help families and caregivers find additional information- this should not imply our endorsement or responsibility for their content.

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