(HealthDay News) — For patients with stiff person syndrome (SPS), autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HSCT) can induce prolonged clinical remission, according to a case report published online August 25 in JAMA Neurology.

Sheilagh Sanders, M.D., from the University of Ottawa in Canada, and colleagues describe two cases of severe SPS treated with auto-HSCT. The patients, who were anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody-positive, had an autologous hematopoietic stem cell graft collected and stored, and subsequently underwent auto-HSCT.

The researchers found that both patients achieved clinical remission, with a sustained, marked symptom improvement. Both patients remained in remission, returned to premorbid functioning, and are currently 2.5 and 4.5 years after the procedure.

“The resolution of clinical manifestations of SPS despite the persistence of anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies following auto-HSCT suggests that the antibody does not play a direct role in pathogenesis of SPS,” the authors write.

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