#AANAM — Radicava May Limit Functional Decline in ALS Patients, Review Study Suggests

#AANAM — Radicava May Limit Functional Decline in ALS Patients, Review Study Suggests

Radicava (edaravone) may prevent functional deterioration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, results from a literature review suggest.

Findings from the review, “Safety and Efficacy of Edaravone in Delaying Functional Decline in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Meta-Analysis,” were presented in a poster session at the 2019 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting, taking place through May 10 in Philadelphia.

Radicava is a free radical scavenger, meaning it removes molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the normal processes of cells but can also cause damage. These molecules are a toxic byproduct of normal cellular function, and are thought to be one of the reasons nerve cells die in ALS, which is why removing them might have clinical benefits.

Researchers from the University of the Philippines conducted a meta-analysis (a systematic review of the available peer-reviewed scientific literature) of studies in which ALS patients were treated with either Radicava — 60 mg injected into the bloodstream every month — or a placebo. They identified three such studies that included a total of 368 ALS patients.

In all studies, the rates of adverse side effects (both serious and non-serious) were similar in both the Radicava-treated and placebo-treated groups, which suggests the relative safety of the treatment.

The mean change in the patients’ ALS Functional Rating Scale Revised (ALSFRS-R) scores — a measurement of the severity of ALS — were higher in the placebo group than in the radicava-treated group after 24 weeks of treatment. Such change indicates greater functional deterioration, so the results suggest that Radicava treatment may slow the rate at which ALS causes functional changes.

However, mortality was not different between the two groups, meaning there was no evidence that Radicava had an effect on how long patients lived.

The researchers did note that the results of the three studies were pretty heterogenous — that is, the precise results differed significantly among the three studies. This makes it hard to say with certainty, for example, whether some patients might benefit more from Radicava treatment than others, or what the exact rate of response to be expected is. Further studies with larger patient populations may help to shed light on these remaining questions.

11 comments

  1. Dave Reckonin says:

    ‘Limits functional decline’ (headline).
    ‘Radicava (edaravone) can prevent functional deterioration’ (first paragraph). (‘Which is it?’)
    ‘ mortality was not different between the two groups,’
    So…. the benefit is….. ? (Answers on a postcard, please)

    What a complete woofer’s breakfast !

    (Shareholders’ reaction (probably) ‘Great news- confusion equals dividends!’)

  2. Andrew Straw says:

    “Higher scores indicate greater functional deterioration”. This is backwards/wrong – lower score = greater deterioration. Makes the whole article confusing, at best.

  3. Tricia Soucy says:

    I agree with Dave. Not shocked to read yet another article about maybe or could, then the next paragraph total opposite of maybe or could. As an ALS caregiver, just quit the BS and say you really don’t know. We don’t have time for maybe or could. Filling people up with hope in one sentence and taking it back in the next is wrong.

  4. Moose says:

    “The patients’ ALS Functional Rating Scale Revised (ALSFRS-R) scores — a measurement of the severity of ALS — were higher in the placebo group than in the radicava-treated group after 24 weeks of treatment. Higher scores indicate greater functional deterioration, so the results suggest that Radicava treatment can slow the rate at which ALS causes functional changes.”

    False statement… Higher scores indicate higher function NOT greater functional deterioration! So the results suggest?????

    • Margarida Azevedo says:

      Hi Moose. Thank you for pointing this out. You are absolutely correct. This is a mistake, the researchers concluded that the CHANGE in ALSFRS-R scores was greater in the placebo group, meaning that radicava may lead to less functional decline. It is now corrected. Best regards.

  5. Kelly Salinas says:

    I had the very same reaction to this article. I’m on Radicava and so I jumped right into reading this ambiguous junk mail. Yes, we really, kinda, sort of, think maybe if all the stars are aligned and if you were born on a Wednesday and have brown eyes…

  6. Jude Mathews says:

    Trying to decide whether or not to go on Radicava…the more I read the more unclear it all seems. If I go on it and the side effects don’t bother me, I still might not know if it’s helping. Argh! How to figure this?

  7. With all the research money raised and the years that has past with no cure maybe we are putting our hope in man when we should look to God who can do the impossible. IF we cannot see God and he made a universe out of something we cannot see but we can see the universe but not all of it even with the most powerful telescope. Maybe if everyone affected by ALS and their families, all churches, and all researchers join together and prayed for a cure all at the one time say like next Sunday at 11:15. What do we have to lose?

  8. Dave Reckonin says:

    No-one can prove that Radicava or Riluzole are any use whatsoever, no matter what MT Pharma or Sanofi say.
    For both ‘treatments’ testing showed that if a pALS had had ALS diagnosed 15 months or more previously they would gain no benefit.

    pALS have different progression rates.So even for the newly diagnosed no-one can really tell if the gloop/dust is doing a good restraining job on progression, or if the pALS simply has slow progression.
    These treatments are selling well across the world. Big Pharma is not going to upset the apple cart when there is money to be made.

    Doctors want to be seen as doing something to help alleviate the horror. The gloop/dust allows them to do that.
    pALS in many situations are being ‘played.’

    Radicava and Riluzole are possibly the world’s most expensive and profitable placebos.
    Big Pharma doesn’t want to cure you. It wants to sell you more stuff

  9. Dave Reckonin says:

    The only useful and effective ‘treatment’ for ALS will be the one found, eventually, to REVERSE decline.

  10. Dr D N Yadav says:

    I took edaravon for 10 months without any reduction in functional decline, in fact, my condition deteriorated during injection period.

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