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A study of thyrotropin-releasing hormone for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy: a preliminary report.

Author(s): Tzeng AC, Cheng J, Fryczynski H, Niranjan V, Stitik T, Sial A, Takeuchi Y, Foye P, DePrince M, Bach JR

Affiliation(s): University Hospital, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-The New Jersey Medical School, Newark, USA.

Publication date & source: 2000-09, Am J Phys Med Rehabil., 79(5):435-40.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) can increase muscle strength in children with spinal muscular atrophy types 2 and 3. DESIGN: A randomized, double-blinded, controlled, 5-wk drug trial of six subjects and three controls. Subjects and controls ranged from 4 to 8 yr of age and were randomly assigned to treatment and placebo groups in a ratio of 2:1. TRH (protirelin) or placebo was delivered intravenously through percutaneous intravenous catheters at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg (in 50 ml of normal saline) for a total of 29 days. Patients were evaluated using electromyography and handheld dynamometry of the deltoids, biceps, triceps, wrist extensors, hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, and grip strength before and immediately after 5 wk of treatment. A unidirectional t test was used to compare mean values. RESULTS: Dynamometry improved significantly only for the six treated subjects (P < 0.02). Peroneal nerve conduction velocities were significantly faster in the treatment group (paired t test, P = 0.036). The parents of the treated children also provided anecdotal evidence of improvements in function. Improvements lasted 6-12 mo. CONCLUSIONS: TRH may be a useful treatment for spinal muscular atrophy. A larger, crossover design group comparison study is warranted.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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