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May 1995

Treatment of Hereditary Ataxia With the Levorotatory Form of Hydroxytryptophan

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology University Medical Center Jackson, MS 39216
Jackson, Miss

Arch Neurol. 1995;52(5):440-441. doi:10.1001/archneur.1995.00540290018003

Trouillas et al1,2 have reported beneficial effects in the treatment of ataxia of varied origins with the dextrolevorotatory form of hydroxytryptophan (dl-5 hydroxytryptophan) (DL-5HTP) and the levorotatory form of hydroxytryptophan (l-5 hydroxytryptophan), (L-5HTP), serotonin precursors. The ataxias lack effective therapy.3 We treated six patients with hereditary ataxia using the L-5HTP for 1 year. Of the six patients, three were affected with Friedreich's ataxia, two patients with adult-onset dominant ataxia (Marie's, olivopontocerebellar atrophy), and one patient with adultonset recessive ataxia with retained reflexes.4

The duration of disease in the four males and two females, aged 18 to 50 years, ranged from 3 to 20 years. Four patients were ambulatory and two, both with Friedreich's ataxia, were in wheelchairs.

See also pages 449, 451, and 456  After approval by the Food and Drug Administration (Washington, DC) and the Institutional Research Board and with the patients' agreement, treatment

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