The stiff person syndrome in 8 questions
Muscle stiffness and repeated bouts of spasms are symptoms of stiff-person syndrome.
Singer Celine Dion has stiff-person syndrome, a very rare neurological condition that strikes about a one in a million.
Muscle stiffness and repeated episodes of spasms which can be painful. Muscle stiffness fluctuates and usually occurs at the same time as spasms.
At this time, its exact cause remains unknown, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disease.
< p class="e-p">The trunk muscles (thorax, abdomen, pelvis) are usually the most affected, but those of the arms and legs can also be affected. Even more rarely, the muscles of the face, hands, and feet may also be affected.
They can occur randomly or be triggered by stimuli such as a sudden noise (a startle), slight physical contact or emotion.
No. It is not considered a degenerative disease. However, it can cause difficulty in walking if left untreated. It can impact a person's ability to perform routine daily tasks.
Its diagnosis is difficult and often late and relies heavily on clinical observation. It can be confirmed by the demonstration of certain antibodies in the blood and by electromyography tests. Although symptoms progress over months or even years, the peak incidence is around age 45. About two-thirds of sufferers are women.
These can vary depending on the intensity of the symptoms, which manifest themselves differently from one person to another. Treatments can combine stretching, thermotherapy, aquatherapy, massage therapy and acupuncture. Medicines are also part of the treatments.
It was discovered in 1956 following an article published by doctors F.P. Moersch and H.W. Woltman who had observed the disease in 14 people over a period of 32 years. For this reason, the disease is also known as Moersch-Woltman syndrome.