PORTLAND, OR — In a recent study, Portland VAMC researchers found that, in short-term trials, dalfampridine extended release (ER) improves walking in veterans with multiple sclerosis (MS).
In the study, which was published recently in Multiple Sclerosis Journal
, the authors noted that the tolerability and effects of dalfampridine-ER in clinical practice had not previously been reported.1
For the study, all patients at the Portland VAMC prescribed dalfampridine-ER over one year completed the Timed 25-Foot Walk (T25FW), Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale-12 (MSWS-12), Two-Minute Timed Walk (2MTW) and Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ) at baseline and follow-up clinic visits. Ongoing use and measures were then analyzed.
The 39 participants averaged 56.5 years old and were 82% male. Their mean disease duration was 20 years, with 38% having relapsing-remitting MS and 62% progressive MS.
According to the results, all measures improved significantly from baseline at initial follow-up — T25FW: -2.7 s, p
= 0.004; 2MTW: 41 feet (ft), p
= 0.002; MSWS12: -11, p
< 0.001; CIQ: 1.2, p
= 0.003. After one year, walking endurance and self-perceived walking were significantly improved — 2MTW: 33 ft, p
= 0.03; MSWS-12: 5.9, p
“Dalfampridine-ER was associated with short-term improvements in walking speed and community participation, and sustained improvements in walking endurance and self-perceived impact of MS on walking for one year,” the authors concluded. “Our study supports the utility of this medication in late MS.”
Cameron MH, Fitzpatrick M, Overs S, Murchison C, Manning J, Whitham R. Dalfampridine improves walking speed, walking endurance, and community participation in veterans with multiple sclerosis: a longitudinal cohort study. Mult Scler
. 2013 Nov 7. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24099749.
The prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the United States population appears to be nearly double previous estimates. Among servicemembers, however, the rate of new MS diagnoses has dropped significantly in recent years.
OKLAHOMA CITY — While multiple sclerosis (MS) itself remains incurable, development of more effective treatments over the past 25 years has increased life expectancy for patients with the disease. Today, MS patients have a life expectancy only about seven years less than individuals without the disease, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.