A randomized trial of oral betamethasone to reduce ataxia symptoms in ataxia telangiectasia

Mov Disord. 2012 Sep 1;27(10):1312-6. doi: 10.1002/mds.25126. Epub 2012 Aug 23.


No controlled studies exist regarding the pharmaceutical reduction of ataxia symptoms in ataxia telangiectasia (A-T). In a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial, oral betamethasone (BETA) and placebo were compared in terms of their reduction of ataxia symptoms as assessed with the International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale (ICARS). In this study of 13 A-T children, betamethasone reduced the ICARS total score by a median of 13 points in the intent-to-treat population and 16 points in the per-protocol population (ie, median percent decreases of ataxia symptoms of 28% and 31%, respectively). In conclusion, Oral betamethasone could be a promising therapy to relieve ataxia symptoms in A-T patients; however, long-term effectiveness and safety must be established. (Current Controlled Trials, number ISRCTN08774933.)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia / diagnosis
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia / drug therapy*
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia / physiopathology*
  • Betamethasone / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Betamethasone