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Methylphenidate fails to improve gait and muscle tone in patients with sporadic and hereditary spastic paraplegia

, : Methylphenidate fails to improve gait and muscle tone in patients with sporadic and hereditary spastic paraplegia. Movement Disorders 21(9): 1468-1471

Based on its action on multiple neurotransmitters, including dopamine, methylphenidate (MPH) is of growing interest as a possible treatment option for several movement disorders. Of special interest are diseases that share gait disturbance and cognitive decline. Based on a single case observation in a patient with hereditary spastic spinal paraplegia (HSP) in which gait was improved with MPH, we performed an open-label study with a longitudinal follow-up in 22 patients with HSP and its sporadic form (SSP). The patients were treated for 6 months with 60 mg of MPH per day. Computerized gait analysis and different scores were performed at baseline, after 6 weeks, and after 6 months of treatment. Although at 6 weeks, the gait velocity was somewhat improved, the drug failed to show any effect on other gait parameters and had no beneficial effect at all after 6 months. Although MPH is of interest for several movement disorders, our study did not show a beneficial effect.


PMID: 16705687

DOI: 10.1002/mds.20973

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