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Research

Low-Dose Naltrexone reduces symptoms in Stiff-Person Syndrome

Title
Low-Dose Naltrexone reduces symptoms in Stiff-Person Syndrome
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Type
Human
Reported as
Case Report/Series/Restrospective Study
Date
January 07, 2020
Authors
Mauro Zappaterra, Elizabeth Shouse, Reed Loring Levine
Institution
Synovation Medical Group, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Harmonae Psychological Services, Inc.
Link
Abstract

Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS) is a rare neurologic disorder characterized by severe and progressively worsening muscle stiffness and rigidity. SPS can be very painful due to unpredictable muscle spasms which can be triggered by various stimuli, such as noise, touch, or emotional experiences. There is thought to be an autoimmune component to the disorder. We present the case of a 59-year-old woman diagnosed with SPS who appears to have experienced a dramatic reduction in her symptoms after being treated with Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN). Prior to this treatment regimen, she had tried many treatments with only limited derived benefit. She was started on LDN and after 6 weeks, reported reductions in pain, anxiety, depression, agoraphobia, and muscle tightness. Upon multiple follow-ups, leading up to 12 months, she continually displayed reduced symptoms and improved quality of life. We conclude that LDN may have some utility in treating and managing the symptoms of SPS. We hypothesize that this may be possible due to LDN operating via anti-inflammatory pathways as well as acting as an opioid antagonist. We assert that further research as it relates to LDN and SPS in addition to other chronic pain conditions is warranted.