Effects of lipoic acid on walking performance, gait, and balance in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

March 12, 2019 Science Blog By

BACKGROUND:

Gait and balance impairment is common in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). Lipoic acid (LA), an over-the-counter antioxidant, is effective in MS animal models and may improve walking speed, but effects on mobility are unreported.

OBJECTIVE:

Examine the effects of 1200 mg daily oral dose of LA versus placebo (PLA) on gait and balance in a 2-year, randomized, double-blind pilot study.

METHODS:

134 participants were screened for eligibility before assignment to LA (n = 28) or PLA (n = 26). Included here were, 21 participants with SPMS who took LA (N = 11) or PLA (N = 10) capsules for 2 years (enrolled May 2, 2011 – August 14, 2015) and completed all tasks without the use of an assistive device. Participants completed the Timed Up and Go (TUG) and quiet standing tasks every 6 months while wearing inertial sensors (APDM Opals) to quantify mobility.

RESULTS:

LA had a medium effect on time to complete TUG at 2 years (g = 0.51; 95% CI = -0.35, 1.38). In a subset of 18 participants with less disability (EDSS < 6, no use of ambulatory device), turning time was significantly shorter with LA (p =  0.048, Δ= 0.48 s). No differences in balance metrics were found between groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

LA had an effect on walking performance in people with SPMS, particularly in those with lower baseline disability.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Lipoic Acid for Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01188811?term=spain+lipoic+acid&rank=1 NCT0118881.

References

  1. Complement Ther Med. 2018 Dec;41:169-174. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.09.006.
  2. Loy BD1, Fling BW2, Horak FB3, Bourdette DN4, Spain RI4.

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