Document Detail

The medical management of spasticity.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11918647     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
When spasticity produces a clinical disability by interfering with posture, motor capacity, nursing or daily living activities, medical treatment is recommended. It is mainly indicated when the muscle overactivity is diffusely distributed and should be implemented early, to prevent permanent musculoskeletal deformities or contractures. A pharmacological approach relies on the use of drugs which modulate neurotransmitters acting at the cortico-spinal level (GABA, glycine, glutamate, noradrenaline, serotonin). The aim of this treatment is to decrease spinal reflex excitability by reducing the release of excitatory neurotransmitters, or by potentiating the activity of inhibitory inputs. Evaluation of the efficacy of these drugs is determined by the therapeutic objectives which may be biomechanical, or functional. Diazepam increases presynaptic inhibition by stimulating GABA(A) receptors in the brainstem and spinal cord. In double-blind studies of patients with spinal cord lesions, antispastic efficacy has been shown, but side-effects are common. Baclofen stimulates GABA(B) receptors inducing a suppression of excitatory neurotransmitter release. Antispastic efficacy is sufficiently documented, but no definite effects on ambulation or activities of daily living have been proved. Tizanidine has an alpha2-agonist activity (at spinal and supraspinal level) and decreases the presynaptic activity of excitatory interneurones. The main clinical effects are a reduction in tonic stretch, polysynaptic reflexes, and co-contraction, with fewer side-effects but no definite functional change. The efficacy of several other antispastic drugs is documented in a few controlled studies, but the majority of information arises from open trials or anecdotal observations.
G Abbruzzese
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of neurology : the official journal of the European Federation of Neurological Societies     Volume:  9 Suppl 1     ISSN:  1351-5101     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur. J. Neurol.     Publication Date:  2002 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-03-28     Completed Date:  2002-06-20     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9506311     Medline TA:  Eur J Neurol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  30-4; discussion 53-61     Citation Subset:  IM    
Università Di Genova, Clinica Neurologica, Via A. de Toni 5, Genova, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Muscle Relaxants, Central / therapeutic use*
Muscle Spasticity / drug therapy*,  therapy
Sympathectomy, Chemical
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Muscle Relaxants, Central

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