Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Popular anti-epileptic drug also effective in controlling debilitating symptom of multiple sclerosis

16.12.2003


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.



"It’s amazing how many MS patients can’t walk, can’t move, and you treat their spasticity and they’re fine," said Dr. Kathleen Hawker, assistant professor of neurology at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study. "What’s nice about these drugs is that they also work for nerve pain, which in turn improves the patient’s 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.


Drugs currently used to treat spasticity may cause memory problems, weakness and lethargy in some patients.

"We’re trying to look at medicines that can be used for multiple symptoms so we don’t get into a lot of drug interactions," Dr. Hawker said. "If we can get the same results with a better-tolerated drug, that’s great for our patients."

Researchers examined the histories of 11 patients treated with levetiracetam between January 2001 and June 2002 for MS-related spasticity at Southwestern Medical Center. The patients were treated with levetiracetam for one to four months, with dosages starting at 250 milligrams per day and increasing to 3,000 mg per day. Researchers found that leviteracetam decreased phasic spasticity in patients taking the drug alone as well as in those who took it in combination with other therapies for spasticity. Tonic spasticity, which produces stiffness, did not improve. Overall, the clinical investigators found the side effects of levetiracetam to be generally mild, Dr. Hawker said.

Multiple sclerosis is the most common disabling disease of young people, ages 18 to 45, and affects 350,000 people in the United States. Symptoms of the disease are unpredictable, vary by individual, and often come and go. While one patient may experience severe vision problems, another may have abnormal fatigue. Other symptoms include loss of balance and muscle coordination, slurred speech, tremors, stiffness, and bladder problems.

Dr. Elliot Frohman, head of UT Southwestern’s multiple sclerosis program and associate professor of neurology and ophthalmology, and Dr. Michael Racke, associate professor of neurology and in the Center for Immunology, also participated in the study, which was partially funded by UCB Pharma, Inc.

Rachel Horton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.swmed.edu/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>