All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for March 2004

Treating MS spasms

March 5, 2004
Dawn Mercer
WIS 10 News

Kim Pullin enjoys visits to the park with her daughter, something her Multiple Sclerosis would have made impossible not long ago, "The spasms appeared in my arm, in my leg, in my hands. I absolutely could not walk on my leg."

Kim's neurologist, Dr. Kathleen Hawker, gave her Levetiracetam, a drug used to control epileptic seizures, "I was noticing that some patients were using it for pain, and I also noticed their stiffness, cramps and spasms were also improving."

Dr. Hawker says she was surprised the drug helped all 11 MS patients in the study, "The nice thing about the drug is it's very safe. It doesn't have effects on the liver, blood or kidneys. It also has much less side effects than older drugs."

That wasn't the only benefit, "We could use on medication for pain, for their spasticity, rather than using two drugs, which can impact their functioning as well."

Kim says, "What it had enabled me to do is not have to put off our activities but be able to really continue to play with her and not have to stop doing what it is that she and I love doing together." She is off Levetiracetam now, but says she will gladly take it again if her spasms return.

The study showed a few patients had mild side effects, including nausea and dizziness. Dr. Hawker has plans to do a bigger study to learn more about the benefits to MS patients.

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