Treatment of ataxia in cortical cerebellar atrophy with the GABAergic drug gabapentin. A preliminary study

Eur Neurol. 2004;52(1):7-11. doi: 10.1159/000079252. Epub 2004 Jun 22.


The aim of this work was to investigate the efficacy of the GABAergic drug gabapentin in the treatment of the cerebellar signs caused by cortical cerebellar atrophy (CCA). Ten patients with CCA received gabapentin in single doses of 400 mg in an open-label study; thereafter, daily administration of 900-1,600 mg of gabapentin was continued during at least 4 weeks. An ataxia scale based on clinical findings was used to evaluate the cerebellar signs at baseline and after administration of the drug. A statistically significant improvement of the ataxia scores was found after single doses of 400 mg of gabapentin and after the administration of 900-1,600 mg of this drug during 4 weeks, as compared to the results obtained at baseline. An important clinical amelioration was also evident. Gabapentin has been demonstrated to be capable of improving the cerebellar signs in cases of CCA, after single doses and after continued administration of the drug during 4 weeks. GABAergic enhancement or supplementation could play an important role in the treatment of diseases of the cerebellar cortex associated with a deficit of GABA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / therapeutic use*
  • Aged
  • Amines*
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Atrophy / complications
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / drug therapy*
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / etiology
  • Cerebellar Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebellar Cortex / pathology*
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Gabapentin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid*


  • Acetates
  • Amines
  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin