Clinical Trial
Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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The efficacy of combined estrogen and buspirone treatment in olivopontocerebellar atrophy.

BACKGROUND: Olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease with symptoms of cerebellar ataxia, parkinsonism, autonomic disturbances and ophthalmoplegia. Buspirone, a 5-HT1(A) agonist could constitute a symptomatic improvement in cerebellar dysfunction whereas estrogen has been investigated for neuroprotection. We conducted an open-labeled pilot trial to assess the efficacy of estrogen with buspirone treatment.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Eighteen patients (7 male and 11 female) with OPCA were randomized into the buspirone (15 mg/day, n=9), or the combined treatment group (estrogen, 0.625 mg/d plus buspirone, n=9). For the clinical rating, International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale (ICARS) was used and dysarthria, gaze evoked nystagmus, finger to nose, pronation-supination alternating movement, knee-tibia test, and gait speed were evaluated for 12 months.

RESULTS: Buspirone-treated group showed improvements in finger to nose and pronation-supination alternating movement test (p=0.046 and p=0.025, respectively). The combination group (Estrogen+buspirone), however, showed no improvement in cerebellar sub-scales compared to the baseline.

CONCLUSIONS: Buspirone treatment showed feasible efficacies for OPCA, while the combined treatment of estrogen and buspirone failed to improve, suggesting estrogen may not have further benefit in cerebellar dysfunction.

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