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A pilot trial of dextromethorphan in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  1. H Askmark,
  2. S M Aquilonius,
  3. P G Gillberg,
  4. L J Liedholm,
  5. E Stålberg,
  6. R Wuopio
  1. University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


    Assuming the presence of glutamate-induced neurotoxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 14 patients were treated with dextromethorphan, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist. The patients were treated with 150 mg dextromethorphan or placebo daily for 12 weeks in a double-blind crossover trial, with a wash out period of 4 weeks between the two treatment periods. Thereafter the surviving patients were treated with 300 mg dextromethorphan daily for up to 6 months in an open trial. No positive effects on clinical or neurophysiological parameters (relative number of axons, and compound muscle action potentials in the abductor digiti minimi muscle) were observed either in the double-blind trial or in the open trial.

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