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