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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(1):CD004156.

Treatment for spasticity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease.

Author information

1
Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Alberta, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5G 0B7.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Spasticity commonly affects patients with motor neuron disease and it is likely to contribute to worsening muscle dysfunction, increased difficulty with activities of daily living and deteriorating quality of life.

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this review is to systematically review all types of treatments for spasticity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neuron disease.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Disease Group specialised trials register (searched January 2003), MEDLINE (January 1966 to January 2003), EMBASE (January 1980 to January 2003), CINAHL (January 1982 to January 2003), AMED (January 1985 to January 2003) and LILACS (January 1982 to January 2003) for randomized controlled trials. We reviewed the bibliographies of the randomized trials identified, and contacted trial authors and known experts in the field.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

We included quasi-randomized or randomized controlled trials of participants with probable or definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis according to the El Escorial diagnostic criteria (or a revised version) or the Airlie House revision. We would have included trials of physical therapy, modalities, prescription medications, non-prescription medications, chemical neurolysis, surgical interventions, alternative therapies. Our primary outcome measure was reduction in spasticity at three months or greater as measured by Ashworth (or modified Ashworth) spasticity scale. Our secondary outcome measures were: validated measures based on history, physical examination, physiological measures, measures of function, measures of quality of life, serious adverse events, and measures of cost.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

We identified only one randomized controlled trial that met the inclusion criteria for this review. Two authors extracted the data. We also contacted the author of the paper and obtained further information not available in the published article.

MAIN RESULTS:

The included study was a trial of moderate intensity, endurance type exercise versus 'usual activities' in 25 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. At three months patients performing the 15 minute twice daily exercises had significantly less spasticity (mean reduction of 0.43 Ashworth grades versus an increase of 0.25 in controls), as measured by the Ashworth scale.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

Individualized, moderate intensity, endurance type exercises for the trunk and limbs may help to reduce spasticity in motor neuron disease. No other medical, surgical or alternative treatment and therapy has been evaluated in a randomized fashion in this patient population.

PMID:
14974059
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD004156.pub2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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