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Stiff person syndrome (SPS) is a rare neurologic disorder of unclear etiology characterized by progressive rigidity and stiffness. The stiffness primarily affects the truncal muscles and is superimposed by spasms, resulting in postural deformities. Chronic pain, impaired mobility, and lumbar hyperlordosis are common symptoms. Spasms can be violent and unpredictable, sometimes breaking bones and often leaving sufferers afraid to leave the home. Patients become very sensitive to touch and sound, which can sometimes trigger spasms. The exact mechanism of the condition is unclear. It has been established that SPS patients generally have glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies, which seldom occur in the general population. The antibodies are often thought to be the cause of the condition.



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