In this medical video learn how researchers from UT Southwestern are studying a drug that may help spasticity, a common side effect in patients with MS.
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Female Speaker: Kim Pullin enjoys visits to the park with her daughter. Not long ago, multiple sclerosis would have made this trip impossible. Kim Pullin: The spasms appeared in my arm, in my leg, in my hands. I absolutely could not walk on my leg. Female Speaker: I want you to walk one foot right in front of the other. Female Speaker: Kim's neurologist, Kathleen Hawker, gave her levetiracetam, a drug used to control epileptic seizures. Kathleen Hawker: I was noticing that some patients were using in pain, and I also noticed their stiffness, cramps, and spasms were also improving. Female Speaker: Doctor Hawker says she was surprised the drug helped all 11 MS patients in the study. Kathleen Hawker: The nice thing about the drug is it's very safe. It doesn't have effects on the liver, blood, or kidneys. It also has much less side effects than older drugs. Female Speaker: That wasn't the only benefit. Kathleen Hawker: We could use one medication for pain, for their spasticity, rather than using two drugs, which can impact their functioning as well. Kim Pullin: What it had enabled me to do is not really have to put off our activities, but be able to really continue to play with her and not really have to stop doing what it is that she and I love doing together. Female Speaker: Kim is off the drug now, but says she will gladly take it again if her spasms return. This is Jennifer Mathew reporting.