Treatment for primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) focuses on relieving symptoms and preserving function. There are no treatments to prevent, stop or reverse PLS. Treatments include:

  • 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.
Oct. 19, 2016
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  2. Jorgensen S, et al. Motor neuron diseases. In: Braddom's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. Accessed June 1, 2016.
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  8. NINDS Motor neuron diseases information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed June 1, 2016.