Low-Dose Naltrexone Reduces Symptoms in Stiff-Person Syndrome

Med Hypotheses. 2020 Apr;137:109546. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2019.109546. Epub 2020 Jan 2.

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.

Keywords: Chronic pain; Low Dose Naltrexone; Stiff-Person Syndrome.