Specific phobia is a frequent non-motor feature in stiff man syndrome

P. Henningsen; H-M. Meinck
April 2003
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry;Apr2003, Vol. 74 Issue 4, p462
Academic Journal
Objective: To investigate systematically the rate and type of phobia in stiff man syndrome and its variants, and to compare patients with stiff man syndrome with and without phobia for sociodemographic and neurological characteristics. Methods: 43 consecutive patients with stiff man syndrome referred to a university department of neurology were assessed using the anxiety disorders interview schedule, revised (ADIS-R), a structured diagnostic interview for anxiety disorders, in addition to a full clinical neurological and psychiatric assessment. Results: 19 patients (44.2%) developed task specific phobia—that is, fear and avoidance of situations difficult to master owing to the motor symptoms of stiff man syndrome (such as crossing streets). Three further patients (7%) had subthreshold phobia—that is, phobic anxiety without avoidance. There were no significant differences between patients with and without phobia in terms of age, illness duration, type of stiff man syndrome, antibody status, or frequency of falls. Patients with phobia were more likely to present with exaggerated startle responses and to have an initial misdiagnosis of psychogenic movement disorder. Conclusions: Specific phobia is a frequent non-motor symptom of stiff man syndrome. Early recognition is an important aid to correct diagnosis. The aetiology of phobia in stiff man syndrome is unknown. There is no evidence of a direct pathogenic role of autoantibodies directed against glutamic acid decarboxylase in the development of phobia.


Related Articles

  • THE SOCIAL PHOBIA AND ANXIETY INVENTORY: PROBLEM OF UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS. Klieger, Douglas M.; Johnson, Heather K. // Psychological Reports;Dec2007 Part 1, Vol. 101 Issue 3, p697 

    The study investigated the possibility of score inflation in the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory due to underlying medical conditions in respondents. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders provides an exclusionary rule disallowing a diagnosis of social phobia when the fear...

  • The spouse of the phobic patient. Agulnik, Peter L.; Agulnik, P L // British Journal of Psychiatry;Jul70, Vol. 117 Issue 536, p59 

    The article examines various questions about the spouse of the phobic patients that were raised by several clinical observations. Results reveal that the spouses of patients with phobic anxiety are not demonstrably neurotic. Previous studies reveal that neurotics tend to be married to neurotics....

  • Enhancing Cannabinoid Neurotransmission Augments the Extinction of Conditioned Fear. Chhatwal, Jasmeer P.; Davis, Michael; Maguschak, Kimberly A.; Ressler, Kerry J. // Neuropsychopharmacology;Mar2005, Vol. 30 Issue 3, p516 

    The endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) system represents a major therapeutic target for the treatment of a variety of anxiety-related disorders. A recent study has demonstrated that pharmacologic or genetic disruption of CBI-receptor-mediated neurotransmission decreases the extinction of conditioned...

  • DON'T PANIC. Page, Andrew // Good Medicine (Australian Consolidated Press);Apr2006, Special Section p1 

    The article presents ways to overcome anxiety, phobias and tensions from Andrew Page, associate professor with the School of Psychology, University of Western Australia. Many people suffer from anxiety, but far, far too many suffer from panics and fears, continual worry and troubling thoughts,...

  • Flooding versus desensitization in the treatment of phobic patients: a crossover study. Marks, Isaac; Boulougouris, John; Marset, Pedro; Marks, I; Boulougouris, J; Marset, P // British Journal of Psychiatry;Oct71, Vol. 119 Issue 551, p353 

    The article presents a study which discusses flooding versus desensitization in the treatment of phobic patients. The main finding of the study to emerge was the superiority of flooding over desensitization for the reduction of pathological fear. In this study, patients not only improved in...

  • Experience with Dental Pain and Fear of Dental Pain. van Wijk, A. J.; Hoogstraten, J. // Journal of Dental Research;Oct2005, Vol. 84 Issue 10, p947 

    Anxious people tend to overestimate the intensity of aversive events such as fear and pain. When an aversive event has been experienced personally, prediction is based on experience and is possibly less subject to bias due to anxiety. Therefore, it was hypothesized that subjects will...

  • Soziale Phobie. Bandelow, B.; Wedekind, D. // Der Nervenarzt;May2014, Vol. 85 Issue 5, p635 

    With a lifetime prevalence of 13 % social phobia (social anxiety disorder) is a common and serious condition that should not be played down because of the burden associated with the disorder, an increased suicide rate and the frequent comorbidity with substance abuse disorders. Social phobia is...

  • Behavior Therapy of an Eleven-Year-Old Girl with Reading Problems. Word, Penny; Rozynko, Vitall // Journal of Learning Disabilities;Nov1974, Vol. 7 Issue 9, p551 

    A recent behavioral technique, developed to eliminate unwanted behavior, is desensitization (Wolpe 1958). This procedure initially was utilized to countercondition fears (phobias) of specific objects or situations - such as fear of snakes, spiders, heights, closed spaces, etc. Later extensions...

  • TRYPANOPHOBIA-AN EXTREME AND IRRATIONAL FEAR OF MEDICAL PROCEDURES: AN OVERVIEW. Tyagi, Satyanand; Yadav, Pramod; Saxena, Sunanda; Dodia, Rajesh A.; Patel, Tanvi D. // International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review & Resear;Sep2010, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p18 

    A phobia is an irrational, intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared stimulus. Trypanophobia is an extreme reaction of fear to the use of needles in any...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics