Improvement of stiff-person syndrome symptoms in pregnancy: Case series and literature review

Megan E. Esch, Scott D. Newsome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ObjectiveTo describe 2 cases from a single academic institution of improvement in stiff-person syndrome (SPS) symptoms during pregnancy and to review the clinical outcomes of SPS in 6 additional pregnancies described in the literature.MethodsEvaluation of clinical symptoms and treatment changes of disease state during pregnancy.ResultsSeven patients with 9 pregnancies are described in women with a diagnosis of SPS. Six of 7 (86%) women were positive for glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65) antibody. In 5 of 9 (56%) pregnancies, symptomatic medications (antispasmodics) were significantly reduced with stabilization or improvement in symptoms through pregnancy. Nine live, healthy pregnancies resulted. All 7 (100%) women experienced worsening of symptoms after the birth of their children, and symptomatic therapies were resumed and/or increased.ConclusionsThe immune pathogenesis of SPS continues to be explored. Immunomodulatory shifts during pregnancy may influence changes of clinical SPS symptoms and provide insight into the unique pathogenesis of SPS. Some women with SPS may be able to reduce symptomatic medications related to clinical improvement during pregnancy. Women with SPS may safely carry pregnancies to term, delivering healthy and unaffected babies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere684
JournalNeurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroInflammation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 25 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Improvement of stiff-person syndrome symptoms in pregnancy: Case series and literature review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this