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 New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>