The treatments for primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) focus on relieving symptoms and preserving function. There are no treatments to prevent, stop or reverse PLS. Treatments include:
July 12, 2013
Medication. Your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve muscle spasms (spasticity), such as baclofen, tizanidine (Zanaflex) or clonazepam (Klonopin). These medications are taken by mouth (orally).
If your spasticity isn't controlled with oral medication, your doctor may recommend surgically implanting a medication pump to deliver baclofen directly to your spinal fluid (intrathecal baclofen).
If you experience depression, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants. Amitriptyline and other drugs also can help drooling problems.
- Physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening exercises may help to maintain muscle strength, flexibility and range of motion, and to prevent joint immobility. Heating pads can help relieve your symptoms of muscle pain.
- Speech therapy. If your facial muscles are affected by PLS, speech therapy can help you compensate for speech and facial muscle problems.
- Assistive devices. You may be evaluated periodically by physical or occupational therapists to determine whether you need assistive devices, such as a cane, walker or wheelchair, as PLS progresses.
- NINDS primary lateral sclerosis information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/primary_lateral_sclerosis/primary_lateral_sclerosis.htm. Accessed April 23, 2013.
- Daroff RB, et al. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0434-1..C2009-0-40427-6--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0434-1&uniqId=364938937-2. Accessed April 29, 2013.
- Singer MA, et al. Primary lateral sclerosis. Muscle and Nerve. 2007;35:291.
- Juvenile primary lateral sclerosis. Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/juvenile-primary-lateral-sclerosis/show/. Accessed April 29, 2013.
- Brugman F, et al. Adult-onset primary lateral sclerosis is not associated with mutations in the ALS2 gene. Neurology. 2007;69:702.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed April 29, 2013.
- Motor neuron diseases fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/motor_neuron_diseases/motor_neuron_diseases.htm. Accessed April 23, 2013.
- Almeida V, et al. Primary lateral sclerosis: Predicting functional outcome. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration. 2013;14:141.
- Iwata NK, et al. White matter alterations differ in primary lateral sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Brain. 2011;134:2642.
- Treatments and therapies. Spastic Paraplegia Foundation Inc. http://sp-foundation.org/understanding-hsp-pls/treatments-and-therapies/. Accessed May 1, 2013.