Riluzole (Rilutek) is a drug used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is marketed by Sanofi Pharmaceuticals. It delays the onset of ventilator-dependence or tracheostomy in selected patients and may increase survival by approximately two to three months.
In terms of safety and efficacy, systemic hypothermia and glibenclamide were superior to riluzole.
A double blind study and Placebo controlled study, Randomized controlled trial did not show a significant change in the clinical outcome and DTI Indices with the use of Riluzole as a standalone pharmacotherapeutic agent for early cervical myelopathy. More studies may be needed to confirm the usefulness of Riluzole as a treatment option for cervical myelopathy 1).
To shed light on the mechanisms and to test a combination therapeutic strategy for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), Karadimas et al. performed surgical decompression in a rat model of CSM, randomizing some animals to also receive the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug riluzole. Spinal cord blood flow measurements increased after decompression surgery in rats. CSM rats showed a transient postoperative neurological decline akin to that seen in some CSM patients, suggesting that ischemia-reperfusion injury may occur after decompression surgery. Riluzole treatment attenuated oxidative DNA damage in the spinal cord and postoperative decline after decompression surgery. Mechanistic in vitro studies also demonstrated that riluzole preserved mitochondrial function and reduced oxidative damage in neurons. Rats receiving combined decompression surgery and riluzole treatment displayed long-term improvements in forelimb function associated with preservation of cervical motor neurons and corticospinal tracts compared to rats treated with decompression surgery alone 2).
To predict the feasibility of conducting clinical trials of acute SCI within Canada, Thibault-Halman et al., have applied the inclusion/exclusion criteria of six previously conducted SCI trials to the RHSCIR dataset and generated estimates of how many Canadian individuals would theoretically have been eligible for enrollment in these studies. Data for SCI cases were prospectively collected for RHSCIR at 18 acute and 13 rehabilitation sites across Canada. RHSCIR cases enrolled between 2009-2013 who met the following key criteria were included: non-penetrating traumatic SCI; received acute care at a RHSCIR site; age >18- <75 years, and had complete admission single neurological level of injury data. Inclusion and exclusion criteria for the Minocycline in Acute Spinal Cord injury (Minocycline), Riluzole, Surgical Timing in Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study (STASCIS), Cethrin, Nogo antibody study (NOGO) and Sygen studies were applied retrospectively to this dataset. The numbers of patients eligible for each clinical trial were determined. 2166 of the initial 2714 cases (79.8%) met the key criteria and were included in the dataset. Projected annual numbers of eligible patients for each trial was: Minocycline 117 cases; Riluzole 62 cases; STASCIS 109 cases; Cethrin 101 cases; NOGO 82 cases; and Sygen 70 cases. An additional 8.0% of the sample had a major head injury (GCS≤ 12) and would have been excluded from the trials. RHSCIR provides a comprehensive national dataset which may serve as a useful tool in the planning of multicentre clinical SCI trials 3).