A study published in the December issue of Archives of Neurology and currently available online shows that levetiracetam reduced phasic spasticity, which is marked by spasms and painful muscle cramps, in 100 percent of patients in a small clinical study.
"Its amazing how many MS patients cant walk, cant move, and you treat their spasticity and theyre fine," said Dr. Kathleen Hawker, assistant professor of neurology at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study. "Whats nice about these drugs is that they also work for nerve pain, which in turn improves the patients mood, so we can use one drug for three things instead of prescribing pain killers and antidepressants in addition to the spasticity therapies."
Spasticity is often seen in patients with MS and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as after a stroke or spinal-cord injury. It can lead to loss of balance, increased risk of falls, pain, fatigue, and walking difficulties.
Rachel Horton | EurekAlert!
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