Prospective study of muscle cramps in Charcot-Marie-tooth disease.
ABSTRACT: This study aims to assess the frequency, location, severity, duration, and fluctuation over time of muscle cramps in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).Inherited Neuropathies Consortium Contact Registry participants recorded the occurrence and characteristics of muscle cramps using an 11-question survey administered 3 times over 8 weeks.A total of 110 adult patients with CMT completed the survey. Weekly cramp frequency was 9.3 (SD 12.3), and 23% had daily muscle cramps. Twenty-two percent reported a significant impact on quality of life. Over 8 weeks, the daily frequency and severity of muscle cramps did not change significantly.Patients with CMT have muscle cramps that vary little over an 8-week period, and they may interfere with quality of life. These data may be useful in the planning of clinical trials of agents to treat adults with CMT-associated muscle cramps.
Project description:The objective of this study was to describe muscle cramps in an US sample of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Utilizing an anonymous web based questionnaire we queried ALS patients regarding the severity, frequency, time-course, treatment of muscle cramps and their relationship to pain. The survey had 282 respondents with 92% reporting that they had cramps. For 20% of the sample, cramps were stated to be the presenting ALS symptom. Cramp severity was rated at a mean of 5.2/10 and the mean cramp frequency was 5.3 cramps per day. Cramp intensity and frequency did not correlate with duration or severity of ALS. Pain as measured with the Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) pain scales was not statistically different from the US general population. Cramp severity and frequency significantly and positively correlated with the PROMIS pain scales. Patients with more severe cramps were more likely to use prescription medications for their cramps compared to patients with milder symptoms. Treatments directed at cramps were tried by 57%. In conclusion, cramps are a common symptom in ALS and it does not correlate with disease duration or severity. The severity of cramps is on average moderate and many patients try treatments.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:More than 90% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients have muscle cramps, but evidence-based treatments have not been available. METHODS:A multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of mexiletine 150?mg twice daily was conducted in ALS patients requesting treatment of symptomatic muscle cramps. RESULTS:Muscle cramp frequency was reduced in 18 of 20 patients; 13 reductions were attributed to treatment (P?<?0.05). The average reduction, based on t tests, was 1.8 cramps per day (a reduction from 5.3 with placebo to 3.5 with mexiletine). The estimated reduction of cramp severity was 15 units on a 100-unit scale (P?=?0.01) from a baseline average of 46. No effect on fasciculations was noted. One patient discontinued the study because of dizziness, and another patient discontinued the study to start open-label mexiletine therapy. No serious adverse event occurred. DISCUSSION:Mexiletine is a well tolerated and effective medication for controlling the symptom of muscle cramps in ALS. Muscle Nerve, 2018.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Minimal treatment options exist for idiopathic muscle cramps. OBJECTIVE:We evaluated whether correction of vitamin D insufficiency relieved muscle cramps in postmenopausal women. METHODS:We conducted a post hoc analysis of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial at a single academic medical center in the Midwest to evaluate the benefits of treating vitamin D insufficiency. Two hundred thirty postmenopausal women participated. Eligible women were ?75 years old, 5 years past menopause or oophorectomy, or ?60 years if they had previously undergone hysterectomy without oophorectomy. Women had vitamin D insufficiency at baseline (25-hydroxyvitamin D 14-27 ng/mL). We excluded subjects with a glomerular filtration rate <45 mL/minute. INTERVENTIONS FOR CLINICAL TRIALS:Participants completed food diaries, laboratory studies, and functional tests including the Timed Up and Go test, Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly, Health Assessment Questionnaire (a measure of disability), and pain scores. Subjects recorded muscle cramp frequency and severity using a standardized form at 6 visits over 1 year. RESULTS:During the trial, over half of participants (n=121, 53%) reported muscle cramps. Despite unequivocal vitamin D repletion, vitamin D had no effect on muscle cramps. Pain levels, disability, and dietary potassium predicted presence of cramps. Serum albumin and physical activity were inversely associated with, and disability was positively associated with, severity of muscle cramps. CONCLUSIONS:Further studies are needed to evaluate the link between pain, disability, dietary potassium intake, and muscle cramps.
Project description:Muscle cramps markedly affect the quality of life in cirrhotic patients with no available highly effective treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of orphenadrine in the treatment of muscle cramps in cirrhotic patients.The study enrolled 30 liver cirrhosis patients complaining of frequent muscle cramps (?3 per week), who were randomized to receive either orphenadrine 100?mg or calcium carbonate 500?mg twice daily as a control for one month. Severity, frequency, and duration of the muscle cramps were assessed before and after treatment as well as recurrence after washout of the drug for two weeks. Side effects were recorded.One month after treatment with orphenadrine; the frequency of muscle cramps decreased significantly to 0.6?±?0.74 per week compared to 12.53?±?6.01 at baseline (p?<?0.001), the duration of muscle cramps decreased from 1?min to 0.1?min after treatment (p?<?0.001). The pain score improved significantly from a score of 8/10 to 0/10 (p?<?0.001). The side effects were few, such as dry mouth, drowsiness, and nausea, with no significant difference between their occurrences in the two groups.Orphenadrine is safe and effective in treatment of muscle cramps in patients with liver cirrhosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Skeletal muscle cramps affect over a third of the ambulatory elderly population. Quinine is the established treatment, but there are safety concerns, and evidence for efficacy is conflicting. A recent meta-analysis established a small advantage for quinine, but identified the need for additional studies. N-of-1 trials compare two treatments, in a randomised, double-blind, multiple crossover study on a patient-by-patient basis. They have been used to compare treatments in osteoarthritis and may be suitable for determining the individual efficacy of quinine. AIM: To establish efficacy and safety of quinine sulphate use for the treatment of leg-muscle cramp. DESIGN OF STUDY: Double-blind, randomised series of n-of-1 controlled trials of quinine versus placebo for muscle cramps. SETTING: New Zealand general practices. METHOD: The participants were 13 general practice patients (six males; seven females; median age = 75 years) already prescribed quinine. Following a 2-week washout, each patient received three 4-week treatment blocks of quinine sulphate and matched placebo capsules with an individual, randomised crossover design. The main outcome measures were: patient diaries of cramp occurrence, duration and severity; capsule counts; and blood quinine levels in the final treatment block. RESULTS: Ten patients completed the trial. Three patients were identified for whom quinine was clearly beneficial (P <0.05), six showed non-significant benefit and one showed no benefit. All patients elected to continue quinine post-study. CONCLUSION: Series of n -of-1 studies differentiated patients whom quinine had statistically significant effects; those with trend towards effectiveness; those for whom quinine was probably not effective. Ideally n-of-1 trial should be performed when a patient is commenced on quinine. More cycles in n-of-1 studies of quinine may address issues of statistical power.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Quinine is a common treatment for nocturnal leg cramps but has potential side effects. An uncontrolled study suggested that calf-stretching exercises could prevent nocturnal leg cramps (night cramps) but these findings have never been confirmed. AIM: To assess the effect of calf-stretching exercises and cessation of quinine treatment for patients with night cramps taking quinine. DESIGN OF STUDY: Randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Twenty-eight general practices in southern England. METHOD: One hundred and ninety-one patients prescribed quinine for night cramps were randomised to one of four groups defined by two "advice" factors: undertake exercises and stop quinine. After 6 weeks they were advised that they could take quinine and undertake the exercises freely. Documentation of cramp at 12 weeks was achieved in 181 (95%) patients. Main outcome measures were: symptom burden score, and frequency of night cramps and quinine usage. RESULTS: At 12 weeks there was no significant difference in number of cramps in the previous 4 weeks (exercise = 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -3.01 to 6.90; quinine cessation = 3.45, 95% CI = -1.52 to 8.41) nor symptom burden or severity of cramps. However, after 12 weeks 26.5% (95% CI = 13.3% to 39.7%) more patients who had been advised to stop quinine treatment reported taking no quinine tablets in the previous week (odds ratio [OR] = 3.32, 95% CI = 1.37 to 8.06), whereas advice to do stretching exercises had no effect (OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.27 to 1.98). CONCLUSIONS: Calf-stretching exercises are not effective in reducing the frequency or severity of night cramps. Advising those on long-term repeat prescriptions to try stopping quinine temporarily will result in no major problems for patients, and allow a significant number to stop medication.
Project description:To determine the safety and tolerability of mexiletine in a phase II double-blind randomized controlled trial of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS).Sixty participants with SALS from 10 centers were randomized 1:1:1 to placebo, mexiletine 300 mg/d, or mexiletine 900 mg/d and followed for 12 weeks. The primary endpoints were safety and tolerability. Secondary endpoints were pharmacokinetic study from plasma and CSF, ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) score, slow vital capacity (SVC), and muscle cramp frequency and severity.The only serious adverse event among active arm participants was one episode of imbalance. Thirty-two percent of participants receiving 900 mg of mexiletine discontinued study drug vs 5% on placebo (p = 0.026). Pharmacokinetic study demonstrated a peak plasma concentration 2 hours postdose and strong correlation between plasma and CSF (p < 0.001). Rates of decline of ALSFRS-R and SVC did not differ from placebo. Analysis of all randomized patients demonstrated significant reductions of muscle cramp frequency (300 mg: rate = 31% of placebo, p = 0.047; 900 mg: 16% of placebo, p = 0.002) and cramp intensity (300 mg: mean = 45% of placebo, p = 0.08; 900 mg: 25% of placebo, p = 0.005).Mexiletine was safe at both doses and well-tolerated at 300 mg/d but adverse effects at 900 mg/d led to a high rate of discontinuation. Mexiletine treatment resulted in large dose-dependent reductions in muscle cramp frequency and severity. No effect on rate of progression was detected, but clinically important differences could not be excluded in this small and short-duration study.This study provides Class I evidence that mexiletine is safe when given daily to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at 300 and 900 mg and well-tolerated at the lower dose.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is an immune-mediated multisystemic disorder and the leading cause of morbidity after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Peripheral nervous system manifestations of GVHD are rare but often disabling. Whereas immune-mediated neuropathies are an established feature of GVHD, muscle cramps are not well characterized. METHODS:In a single-centre retrospective cohort we studied 27 patients (age 23 to 69 years) with GVHD (acute n?=?6, chronic n?=?21) who complained of symptoms suggestive of peripheral nervous system complications. Clinical, laboratory and neurophysiological findings were evaluated by descriptive statistics and regression analysis to detect factors associated with muscle cramps. Patient's sera were examined for anti-neuronal antibodies. RESULTS:Nine patients had polyneuropathy, 4 had muscle cramps, and 14 had both. Median onset of polyneuropathy and muscle cramps was 6 and 9 months after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, respectively. Neurophysiology revealed a predominantly axonal polyneuropathy in 20 of 26 patients. In 4 of 19 patients electromyography showed signs of myopathy or myositis. Muscle cramps were more frequent during chronic than acute GVHD and affected muscles other than calves in 15 of 18 patients. They typically occurred daily, lasted 1 to 10 minutes with medium to severe pain intensity, compromised daily activity or sleep in 12, and were refractory to therapy in 4 patients. Muscle cramps were less likely with tacrolimus treatment and signs of severe polyneuropathy, but more likely with myopathic changes in electromyography and with incipient demyelinating polyneuropathy, shown by increased high frequency attenuation of the tibial nerve. Serological studies revealed antinuclear or antimitochondrial antibodies in a subset of patients. Two of 16 patients had a serum reactivity against peripheral nervous tissue. CONCLUSION:Muscle cramps are associated with chronic GVHD, often compromise daily activity, and correlate negatively with axonal polyneuropathy and positively with myopathy and incipient demyelination.
Project description:Purpose of review:Strategies to mitigate muscle cramps are a top research priority for patients receiving hemodialysis. As hypomagnesemia is a possible risk factor for cramping, we reviewed the literature to better understand the physiology of cramping as well as the epidemiology of hypomagnesemia and muscle cramps. We also sought to review the evidence from interventional studies on the effect of oral and dialysate magnesium-based therapies on muscle cramps. Sources of information:Peer-reviewed articles. Methods:We searched for relevant articles in major bibliographic databases including MEDLINE and EMBASE. The methodological quality of interventional studies was assessed using a modified version of the Downs and Blacks criteria checklist. Key findings:The etiology of muscle cramps in patients receiving hemodialysis is poorly understood and there are no clear evidence-based prevention or treatment strategies. Several factors may play a role including a low concentration of serum magnesium. The prevalence of hypomagnesemia (concentration of <0.7 mmol/L) in patients receiving hemodialysis ranges from 10% to 20%. Causes of hypomagnesemia include a low dietary intake of magnesium, use of medications that inhibit magnesium absorption (eg, proton pump inhibitors), increased magnesium excretion (eg, high-dose loop diuretics), and a low concentration of dialysate magnesium. Dialysate magnesium concentrations of ?0.5 mmol/L may be associated with a decrease in serum magnesium concentration over time. Preliminary evidence from observational and interventional studies suggests a higher dialysate magnesium concentration will raise serum magnesium concentrations and may reduce the frequency and severity of muscle cramps. However, the quality of evidence supporting this benefit is limited, and larger, multicenter clinical trials are needed to further determine if magnesium-based therapy can reduce muscle cramps in patients receiving hemodialysis. In studies conducted to date, increasing the concentration of dialysate magnesium appears to be well-tolerated and is associated with a low risk of symptomatic hypermagnesemia. Limitations:Few interventional studies have examined the effect of magnesium-based therapy on muscle cramps in patients receiving hemodialysis and most were nonrandomized, pre-post study designs.
Project description:Muscle cramping is a common symptom in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that lacks efficacious treatment. The natural history of this symptom is unknown, which hampers efforts to design optimal clinical trials.We surveyed early stage ALS patients about their experience with cramps each month by phone for up to 21 months.Cramps developed in 95% of patients over the course of their disease. The number of cramps experienced by an individual varied widely from month-to-month and trended lower after the first year of illness (P = 0.26). Those with limb-onset and age >60 years had more cramps than bulbar-onset (P < 0.0001) and younger patients (P < 0.0001).The high variability of the number of cramps experienced suggests that clinical trials will need to use crossover designs or large numbers of participants, even when the treatment effect is substantial.