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The Use of Amphetamines for Improving Cognitive Impairment in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

13 August 2016


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder that results in debilitating cognitive impairment in 40-65% of patients. There are no current treatments for this symptom of MS. This is a systematic review of literature on the impact amphetamines have on cognitive function of MS patients.

Methods: An exhaustive search of available medical literature was conducted using MEDLINE-Ovid, MEDLINE-PubMed, Web of Science, and CINAHL. Keywords used included: amphetamines and multiple sclerosis. Relevant articles were assessed for quality using GRADE.

Results: Three studies have statistically significant improvements in some aspects of cognitive function in patients on amphetamines when compared to placebo. However, a high rate of adverse events were noted with L-isomer or D-isomer amphetamines alone.

Conclusion: Amphetamines positively impact cognitive function in MS patients. Mixed amphetamine salts extended release (MAS-XR) seemingly have the lowest rate of adverse effects with the greatest benefit per the Morrow & Rosehart study. Further research is needed to integrate this into a clinical setting.

Keywords: Amphetamines, multiple sclerosis


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