What Is Stiff Person Syndrome?

Imagine a full body Charley horse that stops you in your tracks.

Stiff person syndrome (SPS) is a neurological disease with autoimmune features. Symptoms include muscle spasms, hyper-rigidity, debilitating pain, and chronic anxiety. Muscle spasms can be so violent they can dislocate joints and even break bones.

SPS is labeled as a rare disease. But more people are affected than reported due to misdiagnoses. It takes on average seven years to identify. It is often mistaken as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Fibromyalgia, Psychosomatic Illness, Anxiety, Phobia, and other autoimmune diseases.

Patients are often disabled, wheelchair bound or bed-ridden, unable to work and care for themselves.

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          Scared Stiff

          Emotional Trauma May Have Triggered Maryland Woman’s “Human Statue” Disease
          WJLA-TV, Washington, D.C.
          “When people have full body spasms they are like a brick wall from top to bottom, and they freeze up. They don’t have the warning.”

          Dr. Scott Newsome

          Director, Stiff Person Syndrome Center
          Johns Hopkins Hospital

          Why the Urgency?

          People are suffering right now.

          We need your help.

          The disease is often misdiagnosed for years.

          We need more information.

          Treatments available now don’t work well.

          We need more research.

          A promising new treatment is unavailable to us.

          We need to raise money for a clinical trial.

          “Raising research funds for the autoimmune condition Stiff Person Syndrome is a deeply personal mission for me. I lost my mother, uncle, and aunt to the autoimmune disease MS. Finding treatments and a cure for SPS could open a world of possibilities for other devastating autoimmune disorders.”

          Jacquie Naughton

          About the Foundation

          The Stiff Person Syndrome Research Foundation is a Maryland based nonstock corporation organized and operated exclusively for general charitable and educational purposes that satisfy the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) and 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.

          Our Mission

          Our mission is to support research to develop better treatments and to make a cure possible for Stiff Person Syndrome for each and every patient.

          Our Philosophy

          Research

          We need research for better treatments to improve the quality of life for those suffering with Stiff Person Syndrome.

          Support

          Patients and families of those suffering with this disabling condition need support.

          Education

          People need to be educated about this disease since it is often misdiagnosed and not as rare as once thought.

          Advocacy

          How to be a patient advocate is crucial in communicating with doctors who are not knowledgeable about this disease.