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Anti-spasticity medications need further research
Date:1/27/2010

rises several types of movement disorders, sometimes accompanied by learning disorders, epilepsy and other conditions. The most common characteristic is spasticity, in which muscles tense and flex uncontrollably.

Botox and other drugs can be legally prescribed to treat spasticity, but this use is considered "off-label" because they have not been specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration for that condition.

For the practice guideline panel, the American Academy of Neurology enlisted five pediatric neurologists, two developmental pediatricians, one pediatric physiatrist, one pediatric orthopedist and one adult neurologist. The panelists examined 218 research studies, all of which appeared in peer-reviewed journals and involved cerebral palsy patients under the age of 19, with at least nine patients studied. The panel made recommendations according to the level of evidence found.

Overall, the literature review identified a large "research gap," showing that the effectiveness, mechanism and safety of many drugs has not been adequately studied in children, Dr. Delgado-Ayala said.

"There is an urgent need to develop new drugs to treat spasticity in general," he said. "There has not been a new drug approved for spasticity by the FDA in more than 10 years."


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Contact: Aline McKenzie
aline.mckenzie@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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