Effect of Ropinirole Hydrochloride in Progressive Myoclonic Epilepsy of Unverricht-Lundborg Type


The progressive myoclonus epilepsy of the Unverricht-Lundborg disease (ULD) type is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by progressive stimulus-sensitive and action-related myoclonic jerks. The mainstay of the current treatment in myoclonic epilepsies including ULD are valproic acid and clonazepam among several other antiepileptic drugs. Unfortunately the disease may often be resistant to antiepileptic drugs leading to major reductions in daily activities and disability to walk without assistance. Therefore new treatment modalities are needed. Experimental treatments of ULD patients with dopamine agonists have relieved myoclonic symptoms. Further, in accordance with this, a recent study indicates decreased dopaminergic neurotransmission in the basal ganglia of ULD patients, determined by PET. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of dopaminergic medication (ropinirole hydrochloride, Requip ®) on relieving the symptoms of ULD patients. Patients will undergo sixteen weeks intervention period. The main efficacy determinants are changes in unified myoclonus rating scale (UMRS), nerve conduction, multi-modality evoked potentials including visual evoked potential (VEP), somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) and brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP), blink reflex habituation and electroencephalography (EEG). Tolerability and the safety of the medication are determined. The study setting is placebo controlled, crossover, two-group and double blind study.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: August 2008


  • Drug: Ropinirole
    • 8 + 8 weeks cross-over placebo controlled

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Unified myoclonus rating scale
    • Time Frame: 3

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Unverricht-Lundborg Syndrome Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnancy – Intolerability to ropinirole hydrochloride – Mental illness

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 70 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Turku
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Matti Karvonen, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology, Turku University Hospital

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