Publications by authors named "Alexandra McNally"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Oral Muscle Relaxants for the Treatment of Chronic Pain Associated with Cerebral Palsy.

Psychopharmacol Bull 2020 Oct;50(4 Suppl 1):142-162

Peck, MD, Noor, BS, Kassem, MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Miami Beach, FL. Urits, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Crane, BS, McNally, BS, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Patel, BS, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ. Cornett, MD, Louisiana State University Health Sciences, Department of Anesthesiology, New Orleans, LA. Kaye, Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neurosciences, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA. Viswanath, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA; Valley Pain Consultants - Envision Physician Services, Phoenix, AZ; University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Department of Anesthesiology, Phoenix, AZ; Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Omaha, NE.

Purpose Of Review: This is a comprehensive literature review of the available for treatment of oral muscle relaxants for cerebral palsy (CP) and associated chronic pain. It briefly describes the background and etiology of pain in CP and proceeds to review and weigh the available evidence for treatment for muscle relaxants.

Recent Findings: CP is a permanent, chronic, non-progressive neuromuscular and neurocognitive disorder of motor dysfunction that is diagnosed in infancy and is frequently (62% of patients) accompanied by chronic or recurrent muscular pain. Treatment of pain is crucial, and focuses mostly on treatment of spasticity through non-interventional techniques, surgery and medical treatment. Botulinum toxin injections provide temporary denervation, at the cost of repeated needle sticks. More recently, the use of oral muscle relaxants has gained ground and more evidence are available to evaluate its efficacy. Common oral muscle relaxants include baclofen, dantrolene and diazepam. Baclofen is commonly prescribed for spasticity in CP; however, despite year-long experience, there is little evidence to support its use and evidence from controlled trials are mixed. Dantrolene has been used for 30 years, and very little current evidence exists to support its use. Its efficacy is usually impacted by non-adherence due to difficult dosing and side-effects. Diazepam, a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine carries risks of CNS depression as well as addiction and abuse. Evidence supporting its use is mostly dated, but more recent findings support short-term use for pain control as well as enabling non-pharmacological interventions that achieve long term benefit but would otherwise not be tolerated. More recent options include cyclobenzaprine and tizanidine. Cyclobenzaprine carries a more significant adverse events profile, including CNS sedation; it was found to be effective, possible as effective as diazepam, however, it is not currently FDA approved for CP-related spasticity and further evidence is required to support its use. Tizanidine was shown to be very effective in a handful of small studies.

Summary: Muscle relaxants are an important adjunct in CP therapy and are crucial in treatment of pain, as well as enabling participation in other forms of treatments. Evidence exist to support their use, however, it is not without risk and further research is required to highlight proper dosing, co-treatments and patient selection.
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October 2020

Central Neuropathic Mechanisms in Pain Signaling Pathways: Current Evidence and Recommendations.

Adv Ther 2020 05 10;37(5):1946-1959. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

Department of Pain Medicine, Pain Specialty Group, Newington, NH, USA.

Purpose: This is a comprehensive review of the current literature on central neuropathic pain mechanisms that is secondary to spinal cord injury. It reviews recent and seminal findings on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment and compares treatment options and recommendations.

Recent Findings: Neuropathic pain (NP) is a common complication of spinal cord injury (SCI). Chronicity of NP is attributed to increased abundance of inflammatory mediators and ion channel dysfunction leading to afferent nerve sensitization; nerve damage and nerve-glia cross talk have also been implicated. Conventional treatment is medical and has had limited success. Recent studies have made headway in identifying novel biomarkers, including microRNA and psychosocial attributes that can predict progress from SCI to chronic NP (CNP). Recent advances have provided evidence of efficacy for two promising drugs. Baclofen was able to provide good, long-lasting pain relief. Ziconotide, a voltage-gated calcium channel blocker, was studied in a small trial and was able to provide good analgesia in most participants. However, several participants had to be withdrawn because of worrisome creatine phosphokinase (CPK) elevations, and further studies are required to define its safety profile. Non-medical interventions include brain sensitization and biofeedback techniques. These methods have recently had encouraging results, albeit preliminary. Case reports of non-conventional techniques, such as hypnosis, were also reported. CNP is a common complication of SCI and is a prevalent disorder with significant morbidity and disability. Conventional medical treatment is limited in efficacy. Recent studies identified baclofen and ziconotide as possible new therapies, alongside non-medical interventions. Further research into the pathophysiology is required to identify further therapy candidates. A multidisciplinary approach, including psychosocial support, medical and non-medical interventions, is likely needed to achieve therapeutic effects in this difficult to treat syndrome.
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May 2020