Table 2

Investigative findings in stiff people

Chronic axial stiffness and spasm(stiff man syndrome) (n (%))Chronic stiffness and spasm of distal limb (stiff limb syndrome) (n (%)) Progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity (n (%))
Number8132
Diabetes mellitus3/8 (37.5)0/13 (0)0/2
Presence of anti-GAD antibodies7/8 (88)2/13 (15)0/1
Other positive auto-antibody serology2-150 6/7 (86)5/13 (39)1/2
CSF protein >0.6 g/l1/8 (12.5)4/11 (36)1/2
CSF cell count >5 cm3 1/8 (12.5)1/11 (9)1/2
CSF oligoclonal bands4/7 (57)2/12 (17)1/2
MRI brain abnormality2/5 (40)1/12 (9)1/2
MRI spine abnormality0/5 (0)2/12 (18)0/2
Denervation on EMG0/5 (0)2/12 (17)1/2
Abnormal CMCT0/6 (0)1/8 (13)ND
SEP (lower limb) abnormality0/4 (0)1/8 (13)ND
Continuous motor unit activity:
Back and abdomen8/8 (100)4 (31)ND
 Proximal or distal limb4/8 (50)13 (100)
Abnormal cutaneomuscular reflexes from the lower limbs8/8 (100)10/12 (83)ND
Abnormal startle response4/6 (67)7/11 (63)ND
Abnormal interference pattern during spasms0/6 (0)9/12 (75)ND
  • 2-150 For details of tests for autoantibodies see text.

  • ND=not done; n=the number of patients affected out of those tested.