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Stiff person syndrome: all about Celine Dion’s disease

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Stiff man syndrome is a rare disease that can be particularly disabling: let's find out what it is

There are diseases of which very little is known yet but which require the utmost attention in order to be able to receive the right treatment immediately. An example is that given by the syndrome of the rigid person, a disease which the artist Celine Dion recently spoke about who was affected by it.
This syndrome was first identified in the 1950s. To date it is still little known, at least in terms of the triggering causes, but the treatment, especially in the face of an early diagnosis, guarantees a good quality of life.

Stiff man syndrome: causes and symptoms

Stiff man or stiff person syndrome is a rare, particularly disabling disease that affects the central nervous system and has neuromuscular repercussions.
This disease mostly affects women over the age of 45, with symptoms getting worse over time. It was described for the first time around the 1950s and the causes are still unknown today. However, stiff person syndrome is frequently associated with other autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes, thyroiditis, vitiligo , and pernicious anemia.

Three forms of the disease are distinguished: autoimmune, paraneoplastic and idiopathic. Generally, the first variant is related to autoimmune disorders and affects inhibitory neurons originating in the anterior horn of the spinal cord. The paraneoplastic type, on the other hand, is associated with cancer of the breast, lung, kidney, thyroid or Hodgkin's lymphoma . Symptoms are common to all three variants: muscle stiffness, difficulty bending and turning, increased lumbar lordosis, joint deformities, abnormal posture, painful muscle spasms and exaggerated reactions to unexpected tactile, visual or acoustic stimuli. As a result, those with stiff man syndrome have difficulty walking and are at risk of falling.

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Disease diagnosis

As with many diseases involving the musculoskeletal system, SPR also needs immediate recognition in order for treatments to work.
Too often, unfortunately, this disease is in fact recognized late and sometimes led with other diseases that can bring similar initial symptoms. Examples are fibromyalgia , multiple sclerosis and, albeit rarely, Parkinson's disease .
For these reasons, when faced with problems of stiffness or unjustified pain, it is always a good idea to see your doctor immediately in order to carry out the analyzes and tests necessary to understand what you are suffering from and prepare a treatment plan as soon as possible.

Stiff person syndrome: treatment

The internationally renowned singer Celine Dion recently spoke of the stiff man syndrome, also increasingly known as stiff person syndrome or SPR , who had to cancel several concerts due to worsening illness. The symptoms of this pathology, in fact, can worsen from one day to the next.
Generally, the treatment involves the use of muscle relaxant drugs useful for blocking muscle stiffness or immunotherapy, aimed at reducing the autoantibodies responsible for the syndrome.
Among the most used are diazepam and immunoglobulins. It all depends on the extent of the disease and the type of response one has to first aid. In any case, the doctor will always decide which path to take in order to obtain better results.

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