Research: spasticity needs better treatments

Epub: Henze T, Flachenecker P, Zettl UK [Importance and treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis : Results of the MOVE 1 study.] Nervenarzt. 2013 Feb 2. 

BACKGROUND: The impact of spasticity induced by multiple sclerosis (MS) on patients and the applied treatment options have so far been insufficiently studied.

METHODS: This was a multicentre, retrospective, nationwide study of the care situation of MS spasticity in Germany from the perspective of both patients and physicians.

RESULTS: In this study 414 patients (mean age 48.6 years, 64.3 % women) from 42 centres were analyzed: 27 % suffered from mild, 44 % from moderate and 29 % from severe spasticity. The most common comorbidities were depression and anxiety (25.6 %) and 94.9 % suffered from concomitant symptoms (e.g. fatigue and bladder disorders). The severity of spasticity and its consequences were assessed by both patients and physicians and 54.8 % of physicians were dissatisfied with available treatment options. The most frequently cited disadvantages of currently available antispastic treatment were adverse effects (95.2 %) and insufficient effectiveness (88.1 %) and one third of patients sought help by self-medication.

CONCLUSIONS: This initial assessment of MS-induced spasticity in Germany showed that patients experienced severe impairment due to spasticity. Available treatment options were assessed as dissatisfying.

Spasticity is a common problem in MS and it is poorly treated. At Team G we have been invesitgating alternative drug classes for the treatment of spasticity as it is clear that current therapies have too many sidde effects and they are not that effect. I wonder if the third of people seeking self-medication were smoking cannabis?

Dr Rachel Farrell did a talk on future of Spasticity treatments at the Research day;  the video on its way

CoI: We are developing novel anti-spastic agents for the treatment of spasticity

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  • I noticed that Chinin has a good effect on my spasticities. They don't go away but are much less severe than normal.

    I know that it has some side effects and that you have to be careful if you have Optic neuritis.

  • This paper confirms that new better treatments with fewer side-effects are urgently needed for spasticity. it's such a shame that this is such a Cinderella area of research for something that is very common in MS. Can't think of many groups other than us who do this.

  • I think Rachel Farrell's talk was fascinating, and the short video showing someone's improved walking was startling. Agree MD2, this symptom is so common and has such a negative effect – improving it isn't very spectacular though, is it? Hope you understand what I mean – possibly it isn't very attractive to researchers and clinicians to help improve.

  • Feedback on research day: please sort out the question sessions after the speakers: don't let certain people dominate the proceedings just because they are sitting in the front row and are able to have a one to one conversation with the speaker! Also, please ask speakers to repeat the question into the mike so everyone can hear… thanks, not intending to criticise, just want to improve for next time.

    • Thanks for the suggestion we will be emailing people with a chance for suggestions as it is important we get feedback, good and bad, on the research day. Without it things don't change…or stay the same.

      If there had been a chair it may have been easier to control the Mike hoggers but Prof G and others were too busy answering questions in the Question time session to see any of the presentations. We have to wait to see them.

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