What is the role of EMG and EEG in workup 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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Other tests that may prove useful include the following:

  • Electromyography (EMG): Characteristic continuous motor unit activity with normal morphology is especially prominent in the paraspinal muscles. Myotonic potentials are absent. Activity resolves with sleep and abates with benzodiazepines (diazepam). Simultaneous continuous motor activity is noted in opposing muscles.

  • Electroencephalography: EEG is indicated when episodic or paroxysmal stiffness occurs or signs of cortical abnormalities are present on examination. Rare cases of stiff person syndrome with associated refractory partial epilepsy have been reported. [15]

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