Research: Spasticity

Epub: Oreja-Guevara C, González-Segura D, Vila C Spasticity in multiple sclerosis: results of a Spanish patient survey.mInt J Neurosci. 2013 Jan.

Information regarding the epidemiology of spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in Spain is limited. This cross-sectional survey-based study was undertaken to evaluate the symptoms, severity and consequences of MS-related spasticity (MSS), and to estimate the prevalence of MSS overall and according to the degree of severity (mild/moderate/severe). Adult MS patients (n = 8463) from the two main Spanish MS patients’ associations were asked to complete a web-based questionnaire. 2627 responses were received of which 2029 were valid for analysis. Two-thirds were for women. The mean age of respondents was 40.2 years and the mean MS duration was 8.7 years. MSS was reported by 65.7% of respondents with 40% of these rating it as moderate/severe. MS patients with spasticity experienced more symptoms (including greater difficulty walking), consumed more healthcare resources (including care and rehabilitation sessions), and had a higher degree of disability than patients without spasticity. There was a significant correlation between increasing severity of spasticity and worsening of symptoms. Only 42.4% of patients with moderate spasticity and 52.6% of patients with severe spasticity were currently receiving antispasticity medication compared with 69% and 79%, respectively, reported in a similar survey-based study from the US; this is likely to reflect regional variations in practice. Early and effective treatment of MSS is important to minimise the consequences of spasticity-related symptoms on patients’ quality of life and the economic burden on healthcare systems. In appropriate patients, antispastic treatment including pharmacotherapy and physiotherapy/rehabilitation may provide such benefits.

This study shows that spasticity is a big problem for MSers with 67% with moderate to severe spasticity so add the people with mild spasticity and there is a lot more people affected however they are not getting treatment with only 40% Spain/70% US moderate getting treatment 53% Spain/79% US with severe spasticity getting treatment. The late use of anti-spastics is because they have unpleasant side-effects..If only we had one that worked without the side-effects…..Team G to the Rescue?

CoI: The MDs and friends invented a new anti-spastic that appears to be as good as baclofen and sativex but without their sedating side-effects, at least in animals. It has taken about nine years from the start of the project and we have yet to start the human studies planned for this Summer. This has required us to raise quite a few million pounds to get this project this far and we will need millions more and  a Pharmaceutical Company to complete this. 

Fastforward and the NMSS in US and  the Wellcome Trust in the UK have been vital in keeping us move forward, but if a pharmaceutical company was doing this they would have the resource to shave years off this process. Drug development takes time and loads of cash

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