EAU CLAIRE Wisc. (WLAX/WEUX) – After 20 years of wondering what was causing his symptoms, an Eau Claire man finally has some answers. Jon Rauch thought he was battling a vitamin D deficiency all this time, but last month doctors told him he has a rare autoimmune condition called Stiff Person Syndrome. Which has no known cure. After recently being unable to walk, Rauch checked in to HSHS sacred heart hospital. Where doctors made the long-awaited diagnosis.
Dr. Eric Spears of Prevea Health said, “It’s an autoimmune problem where the body attacks parts of the spinal cord involved in a reflex between one muscle and another. In a normal healthy person when you contract, say your biceps, it’s going to send signals through your spinal cord to the opposite side, like your triceps, to relax. In his condition, he doesn’t have that reflex.”
Spears says the disorder is so uncommon. Many doctors never see it. If left untreated, the disorder can be fatal.