During an eight year period, 32 patients with definite or suspected multiple sclerosis (MS) were seen with paroxysmal neurological disturbances, which included tonic seizures, paroxysmal dysarthria, paraesthesiae and pain in the limbs, as well as trigeminal neuralgia. In 21 of these patients the paroxysmal disorders were treated with carbamazepine, and in six the effect was compared with placebo. In the majority carbamazepine was effective in controlling the paroxysmal symptoms. Side-effects were troublesome in a few patients, but they could usually tolerate small doses, which still gave relief. Although the patho-physiological basis for these paroxysmal disorders remains unexplained, their response to carbamazepine suggests a common mechanism.
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