Intrathecal baclofen for HSP

New study confirms potential benefits


Michael Fahey
Michael Fahey
Barry Rawicki
Barry Rawicki

A recently completed Australian study carried out by a Melbourne team, including two HSP clinician/researchers well-known to this Foundation, Michael Fahey and Barry Rawicki, has demonstrated the effectiveness of intrathecal baclofen for treating spasticity in HSPers with certain characteristics.



Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a rare progressive disorder with few treatment options. We aim to describe the effect of continuous intrathecal baclofen (ITB) pump therapy on the clinical and functional outcomes of patients with HSP.



This is a retrospective study, using medical record audit data. Adult patients with HSP who had received ITB trial or therapy and had pre- and post-ITB assessment data available were eligible for inclusion. A purposefully designed audit tool was used. Patients with a successful trial received an ITB implantable SynchroMed® II pump. Demographic, clinical, and outcome data were obtained pre- and post-pump trial and pump insertion. Functional, spasticity, and mobility measures were compared pre- and post-ITB trial and pre- and post-ITB pump insertion.



Data for nine patients were available. Six were male and the median age was 55 years (Q1, Q3: 46, 55). All received an ITB trial, and those who responded favorably (n=8) had an ITB pump inserted. Following ITB therapy, improvements were demonstrated for rectus femoris (P=0.04) and gastrocnemius spasticity measures (P=0.03). All patients reported subjective improvements in function, and three of the four with pre- and post-pump assessments, demonstrated clinically meaningful improvements in mobility. Side effects were minimized with appropriate dose titrations.



This is the largest retrospective patient study in the field. The potential benefits of ITB in selected patients with HSP were demonstrated.


Full text available here:


SOURCE: Dove Medical Press Limited 15 December 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 19—26


Use of continuous intrathecal baclofen in hereditary spastic paraplegia


Jessie Khera,1 Nadine E Andrew,1 Dominique A Cadilhac,1,2 Tara Purvis,1 Michael C Fahey,3,4 Hyam Barry Rawicki1


1Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton

2Stroke Division, Florey Institute of Neurosciences and Mental Health, Heidelberg

3Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton

4Department of Medicine, Melbourne University, Parkville, VIC, Australia.



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