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Stiff-man Syndrome (a.k.a. Moersch-Woltmann Syndrome) Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Stiff-man syndrome, also called Moersch-Woltmann syndrome, is a rare, severe autoimmune neurologic disease involving the central nervous system. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

The disease is characterized by a progressive rigidity or stiffness of the muscles caused by a diffuse hypertonia (excess muscular tension or pressure) involving the voluntary muscles of the neck, shoulders, trunk, arms and legs. Painful muscle spasms may also be present.

Unlike many autoimmune diseases which have a higher incidence in women, stiff-man syndrome is found more frequently in men. Approximately 70 percent of those afflicted are men. Oddly enough, women can have the stiff-man syndrome.

While the exact cause of stiff-man syndrome is not clear, autoimmunity is thought to be a factor. The frequent occurrence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), (also referred to as type I diabetes) in stiff-man syndrome supports this hypothesis.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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