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Curr Opin Neurol ; 35(6): 728-740, 2022 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2063142


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Spasticity is a common sequela of brain and spinal cord injury and contributes to disability, reduces quality of life, and increases economic burden. Spasticity is still incompletely recognized and undertreated. We will provide an overview of recent published data on the definition, assessment, and prediction, therapeutic advances, with a focus on promising new approaches, and telemedicine applications for spasticity. RECENT FINDINGS: Two new definitions of spasticity have been recently proposed, but operational criteria should be developed, and test-retest and inter-rater reliability should be explored. Cannabinoids proved to be effective in spasticity in multiple sclerosis, but evidence in other types of spasticity is lacking. Botulinum neurotoxin injection is the first-line therapy for focal spasticity, and recent literature focused on optimizing its efficacy. Several pharmacological, interventional, and nonpharmacological therapeutic approaches for spasticity have been explored but low-quality evidence impedes solid conclusions on their efficacy. The recent COVID-19 pandemic yielded guidelines/recommendations for the use of telemedicine in spasticity. SUMMARY: Despite the frequency of spasticity, robust diagnostic criteria and reliable assessment scales are required. High-quality studies are needed to support the efficacy of current treatments for spasticity. Future studies should explore telemedicine tools for spasticity assessment and treatment.

COVID-19 , Spinal Cord Injuries , Humans , Quality of Life , Reproducibility of Results , Pandemics , COVID-19/complications , Muscle Spasticity/diagnosis , Muscle Spasticity/etiology , Muscle Spasticity/therapy , Spinal Cord Injuries/complications , Spinal Cord Injuries/therapy , Brain
Eur J Phys Rehabil Med ; 57(3): 424-433, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953375


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected health-care systems worldwide, including the outpatient spasticity care with botulinum neurotoxin toxin type A (BoNT-A). AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of discontinuation of BoNT-A treatment on patients living with spasticity during the COVID-19 quarantine. DESIGN: A multicentric cross-sectional study. SETTING: Outpatients setting. POPULATION: Patients with spasticity after stroke and traumatic brain injury treated with BoNT-A. METHODS: A phone-based survey was conducted from March to May, 2020. Based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), an ad hoc questionnaire CORTOX (CORonavirus TOXin survey) was developed to investigate patients' experiences following the discontinuation of their usual treatment for spasticity due to the lockdown and its implication on their health perception. It assessed patients' condition and explored different ICF domains related to spasticity: unpleasant sensations, mobility, self-care, facilitators and psychosocial factors. The sum of those represented the CORTOX score (Max 142). The questionnaire also collected data about the impact of COVID-19 on patients' wellbeing (mood, sleep, relationships, community life, motivation). RESULTS: A total of 151 participants completed the survey. Most participants (72.2%) experienced a worsening in perceived spasticity, 53% got worse in independence and 70.9% had a negative impact on quality of life. The mean CORTOX score was 52.85±27.25, reflecting a perceived worsening in all ICF domains investigated. Moderate to strong correlations were found between different sub-scores of the questionnaire and severity of spasticity (P<0.001). COVID-19 psychosocial related factors were associated with loss of independence (P<0.05) but only mood was associated with worsening of spasticity (P<0.001). The lack of rehabilitation therapy was significantly associated with the worsening of independence but not with the worsening of spasticity. Finally, respondents reported that BoNT-A was useful to their condition and should not be discontinued. CONCLUSIONS: The discontinuation of BoNT-A treatment was associated with worsening of activities and participation and perceived spasticity. COVID-19 related problems and rehabilitation showed an association with loss of independence. CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: This study will provide useful information in the field of spasticity management using a patient's centred approach, with consistent quantitative and qualitative information.

Botulinum Toxins, Type A/therapeutic use , Brain Injuries, Traumatic/complications , Health Services Accessibility , Muscle Spasticity/drug therapy , Muscle Spasticity/etiology , Stroke/complications , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Neuromuscular Agents/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult