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Clin Neuropharmacol. 2014 Jan-Feb;37(1):22-5. doi: 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000015.

Reduction in the free radical status and clinical benefit of repeated intrathecal triamcinolone acetonide application in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis.

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*Department of Neurology, St Joseph Hospital; and †Gematria Test Lab GmbH, Berlin, Germany.



Previous open trials performed repeated intrathecal application of the sustained release steroid triamcinolone acetonide every third day in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis and described enhanced walking abilities.


The objectives of this study were to demonstrate the efficacy of 5 triamcinolone administrations every other day and to describe their effects on the amount of inducible free radicals in cerebrospinal fluid.


Clinical ratings, determinations of maximum walking distance, and execution of an instrumental peg insertion test were performed at baseline and on each day after a triamcinolone injection in 21 patients with progressive multiple sclerosis. Induction of free radicals was assessed in cerebrospinal fluid before each triamcinolone application by electron spin resonance spectroscopy.


Scores for multiple sclerosis improved, walking distance increased, and necessary intervals for the peg insertion procedure were shortened. The amount of inducible free radicals decreased.


Repeat triamcinolone application improves dysfunction of upper and lower extremities even when administered 5 times only and in series every other day. The declined potential for free radical synthesis may be caused by the anti-inflammatory effect of triamcinolone. It may contribute to suppress the smoldering, chronic inflammation, particularly in spinal lesions of patients with progressive multiple sclerosis. The enhanced arm function hypothetically reflects the effect on cervical and brain lesions due to the hypobaric features of triamcinolone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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