Walking from one room to another or down the street is a capability most of us take for granted. When the ability to do this is diminished, one necessarily adjusts to the new circumstances. In some cases, medicines come along that help.
On January 22, 2010, the FDA approved Ampyra (dalfampridine) extended release tablets to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). In clinical trials, patients treated with Ampyra had faster walking speeds than those treated with an inactive pill (placebo). This is the first drug approved for this use.
MS is a chronic, often disabling, disease that affects the central nervous system--the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. There are about 400,000 people in the United States and two and a half million people world-wide with MS.
The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Symptoms can be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision.