Dalfampridine to Improve Balance in Multiple Sclerosis: Substudy from a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

Luca Prosperini, Letizia Castelli, Laura De Giglio, Valeria Bonanno, Claudio Gasperini, Carlo Pozzilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This was a substudy of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial originally designed to explore the effect of dalfampridine on information processing speed (2013-002558-64 EU Clinical Trials Register) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). A total of 120 patients were originally randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive dalfampridine 10 mg or placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. Here, we sought to explore the effect of dalfampridine on static balance in single-task and dual-task conditions in a subgroup of 41 patients. They underwent static posturography in quiet standing (single-task) and while performing the Stroop test (dual-task) at randomization (baseline), after 12 weeks and after a 4-week wash-out period. Baseline characteristics of active group (n = 27) did not differ from those of placebo group (n = 14). Dalfampridine treatment was associated with better balance control than placebo in both single-task (F = 4.80, p = 0.034) and dual-task (F = 6.42, p = 0.015) conditions, with small-to-moderate effect sizes (Cohen’s f2 = 0.122–0.162). The beneficial effect of dalfampridine was not retained 4 weeks after its discontinuation. The rate of accidental falls per month did not differ between the two groups (p = 0.12). Our preliminary findings suggest that dalfampridine can be considered a potential option to treat balance impairment due to MS. Larger sample sizes are needed to verify if the beneficial effect of dalfampridine on balance can be translated into a reduced risk of accidental falls.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurotherapeutics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 9 2019

Keywords

  • accidental falls
  • balance
  • clinical trial
  • dalfampridine
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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