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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Stiff person syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Morsch Woltman syndrome
  • SPS
  • Stiff man syndrome
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Stiff person syndrome is a rare neurological disorder with features of an autoimmune disease. It affects twice as many women as men. It is frequently associated with other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, thyroiditis, vitiligo, and pernicious anemia[1].  Symptoms may include muscle stiffness in the trunk and limbs, heightened sensitivity to noise and touch, and emotional distress which can set off muscle spasms and cause falls. Treatment may involve high-dose diazepam, anti-convulsants, or intravenous immunoglobulin.[1]
Last updated: 3/15/2011


  1. NINDS stiff-person syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2010; Accessed 3/15/2011.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Stiff person syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

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