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Spinal Cord. 1997 Oct;35(10):686-9.

Gabapentin for the treatment of spasticity in patients with spinal cord injury.

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Department of Neurology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, KY, USA.


Our serendipitous observations suggested that some patients with spasticity appeared to have improved following the administration of the anticonvulsant drug gabapentin. As some patients with spasticity are either refractory to or intolerant of established medical treatments, we conducted this study to investigate the effect of gabapentin on spasticity in patients with spinal cord injury. Twenty-five patients with spinal cord injury and spasticity received oral gabapentin (2400 mg over 48 h) in a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. We assessed responses by measuring the Ashworth spasticity scale, muscle stretch reflexes, presence of clonus and reflex response to noxious stimuli. Patient ratings were obtained using a Likert Scale. Administration of gabapentin, but not placebo, was associated with an 11% reduction in spasticity as measured by the Ashworth Scale (P = 0.04) and by a 20% reduction in the Likert Scale (P = 0.0013). Significant changes were not obtained for the other measures. The data obtained suggest that gabapentin may be useful in the management of spasticity associated with spinal cord injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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