Which physical findings are characteristic of stiff person syndrome?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Nancy Theresa Rodgers-Neame, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Answer

In general, increased muscle tension, which may be more marked proximally than distally, is present. Frequently, lower extremities are most severely affected. Rarely, upper and lower extremities are affected. One limb may be affected, sparing other muscle groups. In most if not all patients, opposing muscle groups are noted to be tense, and tonic contraction with long relaxation times (myotonia) may be noted following percussion of the muscle. In most patients, the neurologic examination findings are otherwise normal. Anxiety is common.


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