Overall Self-Perceived Health In Restless Legs Treated With Intrathecal Morphine

Prof. Peter Lindvall

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Victoria Murphy:

My guest today is Professor Peter Lindvall from the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. Prof. Lindvall a very warm welcome to you and thank you for joining us today.

Prof. Lindvall:

Thank you.

Victoria Murphy:

Today we are here today to discuss a paper you authored in Acta Neurologica Scandinavia in August 2012. The title of your paper was ‘Overall self-perceived health in restless legs treated with intrathecal morphine. Prof. Lindvall, what were the objectives of your study?

Prof. Lindvall:

Our aim was to evaluate patients with severe restless legs (RLS) that were treated with intrathecal morphine using an implanted pump, and we wanted to evaluate them using validated scales. We used the international restless legs study group rating scale for severity of symptoms and the short form health survey (SF 36) to evaluate self perceived health

Victoria Murphy:

How was it designed?

Prof. Lindvall:

Three patients were evaluated using SF 36 and the international restless legs study group rating scale both preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively

Victoria Murphy:

What types of patients were included?

Prof. Lindvall:

Patients with severe or very severe restless legs.

Victoria Murphy:

What were the study endpoints?

Prof. Lindvall:

We wanted to evaluate self perceived health and symptoms both pre and postoperatively

Victoria Murphy:

What were the results?

Prof. Lindvall:

All three patients were totally free of symptoms of RLS at the 6 months follow up. The SF-36 indicated that patients had a better self perceived health than before treatment with intrathecal morphine. We believe that this study support that treatment with intrathecal morphine may be an effective treatment for patients with severe RLS

Victoria Murphy:

Are there any limitations to the study?

Prof. Lindvall:

The small number of patients is a major limitation.

Victoria Murphy: What conclusions can be drawn from these results?

Prof. Lindvall:

These results are in line with our previous experience. We believe that intrathecal morphine may be a promising treatment for patients with severe RLS. Hopefully these results will encourage others at larger centers to perform similar studies with a larger number of patients

Victoria Murphy:

Can these results be considered conclusive?

Prof. Lindvall:

No.  I think that more research is needed and only after we have studied a larger cohort of patients with RLS it will be possible to tell if intrathecal morphine remains as a treatment option for these patients.

Victoria Murphy:

Prof. Lindvall thank you for joining us today, it has been a pleasure.

Prof. Lindvall:

Ok, thank you very much.

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