Stiff person syndrome is a rare neurological disorder with an unknown cause. This article will tell you more on the symptoms and treatment methods of this condition.
The stiff person syndrome (SPS), also known as stiff-man syndrome, is a neurological disorder. As it was first described by Moersch and Woltmann, it is also known as the Moersch-Woltmann syndrome. It is an extremely rare disease with an unknown cause. It is observed in both men and women. Unfortunately, as the symptoms are not very distinguishing, it is not easily diagnosed.
Stiffness is the most prominent symptom of the disease. The stiffness or the contraction of the muscles is involuntary and of a peculiar type. It is observed mostly in the muscles of the trunk and limbs, prominently in the back or the thighs, leading to a stiffened walk.
- Extreme sensitivity to touch and noise
- Backward curved or hunched back (kyphosis)
- Forward curved vertebral column (lordosis)
- Muscle spasm
- Muscle tetany
- Inability to move quickly
- Unsteady gait
The symptoms become severe as the disease progresses. Taking rest can help in reducing the stiffness or rigidity, whereas, anxiety or stress can aggravate the symptoms. Therefore, people suffering from this disease avoid stress, noise, and other anxiety causing factors. A person suffering from this syndrome is found to be more susceptible to other autoimmune diseases like the diabetes or thyroiditis.
As the disease is extremely rare, there can be a misinterpretation of symptoms. Electromyography, physical examination, blood/urine tests, etc., are used for diagnosis. There is no definite prognosis of the disease. It can lead to complications like bone fractures and other injuries to the muscles of the spinal cord.
Medications, pain relievers, muscles relaxant drugs like Benzodiazepines are given to the patients to reduce stiffness and alleviate other symptoms. Secondly, according to some studies, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVI) is also an effective therapy. Medication may also be prescribed as there are high chances of the person suffering from diabetes as well.
It should be remembered that stiff person syndrome is a life-threatening condition, and hence, needs to be treated quickly. Although there is no permanent curative available, the present treatment methods can definitely help in alleviating the symptoms. If proper and timely curatives are taken, the person suffering from this syndrome can perform all day-to-day activities without any difficulty and also live a normal life.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical professional.