A retrospective review was undertaken at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center regarding the use of modafinil for the treatment of spasticity associated with cerebral palsy. Neurology clinic records were reviewed from January 1, 2000, until October 1, 2001. Thirty pediatric patients with cerebral palsy were identified who were treated empirically with modafinil during this time period. Twenty-three (76%) patients reported diminished spasticity with treatment, which was confirmed by physical examination; these patients had improved joint mobility.
Seventeen (56%) patients continued treatment with modafinil by the end of the formal review period (September 30, 2001). Twenty-three percent (seven) of the patients stopped taking modafinil during the study owing to one of the following: decreased sleep time (four), decreased appetite (one), hyperactivity, and irritability (two). Thus, this retrospective review shows a reduction in spasticity from cerebral palsy, with only minor and reversible side effects noted from modafinil. A blinded, crossover study using modafinil for spastic cerebral palsy is planned.