Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6): clinical pilot trial with gabapentin

J Neurol Sci. 2009 Mar 15;278(1-2):107-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2008.12.017. Epub 2009 Jan 21.


The clinical effect of the GABAergic drug gabapentin was evaluated in 11 patients with spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6). The total period of gabapentin treatment was 4 weeks, and outcome measures were determined with the International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scales (ICARS) and postural sway studies. At week 4, 5 patients showed a decrease of the ICARS values by more than 10% compared with the pre-treatment baseline. Eight patients showed a more than 10% decrease of the sway area (SA) and/or sway path length (SPL) values in postural sway studies. The ICARS values and SA/SPL values were not necessarily consistent in each patient, but 3 patients showed a more than 10% decrease in the ICRAS, SA, and SPL values at week 4 when compared to the pre-treatment baseline. As a whole, the efficacy of gabapentin was not statistically confirmed in the 4-week trial because of the variation in efficacy in each patient, but the data are indicative that some SCA6 patients could benefit from gabapentin treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amines / therapeutic use*
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Gabapentin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postural Balance / drug effects
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxias / drug therapy*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / therapeutic use*


  • Amines
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin