Text Size: a  |   a 

Dalfampridine Treatment Improving Gait & Balance in MS Patients

December 29, 2015

A new study has determined that the effect of dalfampridine treatment in MS patients has been a significantly positive one. The International Journal of MS Care published a study that determined patients showed a huge improvement in gait, balance, walking speed and distance.

Dalfampridine in extended release form (Ampyra extended-release tablets; Acorda Therapeutics Inc.) has been shown to rehabilitate conduction in demyelinated nerves in animals. Data from two Phase 3 clinical trials showing that dalfampridine was able to improve walking speed in MS patients was key to its being granted approval in the United States in 2010.

The researchers assessed each patient who received the drug as part of their regular MS care plan and had showed improved walking speed. They assessed the patient’s changes in two parameters gait & balance.

The study was divided into three periods. The first phase was a drug screening with evaluations on day one and a week later. That led into the second phase, a period of withdrawal and off-drug evaluations on days 5 and 11. The final phase reinitialized drug treatment in patients with a final evaluation on day 15.

The results showed that scores for gait and balance worsened during the second trial period in comparison to the first, whereas they improved in the final period. Balance composite scores did not change significantly between study periods. Walking speed and the mean overall gait score were found to be significantly higher in the on-drug periods when compared to the off-drug period.

The researchers concluded: “The results of this study provide evidence that not only supports the benefits of dalfampridine-ER on walking, as demonstrated by improvements in speed and distance, but also expands these benefits to include parameters of gait and balance.”