Spasticity is best described as “disordered sensorimotor control resulting from an upper motor neuron lesion, presenting an intermittent or sustained involuntary activation of muscles”. When spasticity is perceived by the individual or caregiver as hindering body function, activities and/or participation, it is referred to as severe or disabling spasticity. Spasticity is usually caused by damage to the portion of the brain or spinal cord that controls voluntary movement. The damage causes a change in the balance of signals between the nervous system and the muscles. Conditions that may cause spasticity include cerebral palsy, brain injury or stroke (spasticity of cerebral origin) and spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis (spasticity of spinal origin).
There are a number of treatment options available for spasticity, with each patient requiring an individualized approach. Treatment options for spasticity include: rehabilitation or physical therapy, oral medication, injectable treatments, intrathecal baclofen therapy, orthopaedics surgical procedures and neuroablation procedures. Intrathecal Baclofen (ITB) is injected directly into the intrathecal space via an implantable infusion system. The drug acts at the spinal cord level, thus requiring much smaller doses of medication compared to the oral route. Intrathecal administration of baclofen may offer the patient a reduction in spasms and improvement in muscle tone with potentially fewer systemic side effects compared to oral medication. ITB is reversible and its dosage can be titrated to meet individual patient requirements.
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