Severe Stiff-Person Syndrome After COVID: The First Video-Documented COVID Exacerbation and Viral Implications

The study, titled “Severe Stiff-Person Syndrome After COVID: The First Video-Documented COVID Exacerbation and Viral Implications” published in Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2024, examines a unique case of severe Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS) following a mild COVID-19 infection.

Here is a detailed summary:

Background and Objectives:

  • Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by muscle stiffness and spasms.
  • The study aimed to describe the case of a patient who developed severe SPS following a mild case of COVID-19 and to explore the potential viral implications of this development.


  • The study involved video-documented serial clinical observations of the patient at baseline (before COVID-19), after acute COVID-19, and following treatments.

Key Findings:

  • Patient’s History: A 39-year-old man had a mild case of stiff-leg syndrome (SLS) affecting his left leg. He was functioning normally with the help of low-dose antispasmodics.
  • Post-COVID-19 Changes: One week after contracting a mild form of COVID-19, the patient began experiencing symptoms indicative of generalized SPS. These symptoms included significant stiffness and spasms in his legs and back, preventing him from walking without assistance.
  • Treatment and Progress: The patient’s condition improved following three monthly infusions of Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg), although he did not regain his pre-COVID condition. He was able to walk around his house without support but still needed assistance when going outside.

Discussion and Implications:

  • This case is the first documented instance of severe GAD-positive SPS post-COVID-19. The temporal association with COVID-19 and the improvement after IVIg treatment suggest a possible viral-triggered autoimmunity.
  • The study highlights the potential viral etiologies in patients with GAD-SPS who experience acute, long-lasting exacerbations of stiffness and spasms.
  • It also notes the broader implication of COVID-19 in triggering systemic neuroautoimmunities.
  • The study emphasizes the need for further research to understand the role of viral infections in triggering or exacerbating autoimmune conditions like SPS.


  • This case study provides valuable insights into the potential links between COVID-19 and autoimmune neurological disorders like SPS.
  • It underscores the importance of considering viral triggers in the diagnosis and management of such conditions post-COVID-19.

This summary offers an in-depth look at a significant case that contributes to the understanding of the potential long-term neurological effects of COVID-19, which can be of great interest to readers following developments in post-COVID conditions and autoimmune disorders.

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