IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventy percent of stroke survivors living with spasticity and their caregivers rank the debilitating condition as one of the top three symptoms impacting their life post-stroke, according to a recent survey conducted by Allergan, Inc. and National Stroke Association. Spasticity, which causes muscles to contract and spasm, causing stiffness and pain ranks second only to paralysis in its impact, yet close to 50 percent of stroke survivors and their caregivers are unaware of the available treatment options.
Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.2 Today, there are approximately seven million stroke survivors in this country.3 According to a survey of stroke survivors and their primary caregivers, approximately 60 percent (n=504) of stroke survivors live with spasticity.4 Many may have upper limb spasticity.5 Upper limb spasticity, which affects the elbow, wrist and fingers, can present as a bent wrist with fingers pointing downward, a fist that stays clenched or a flexed elbow that stays twisted against the chest.
"Spasticity significantly impacts the daily routines of both stroke survivors and their caregivers," says Jim Baranski, Chief Executive Officer, National Stroke Association. "People living with upper limb spasticity often are not able to do the simplest of tasks like getting dressed, hand washing, or even eating. They grow dependent on their loved ones for help with these basic tasks. It's important for stroke survivors and their caregivers to know that spasticity is a very real medical condition and they should talk with their physician to get help."
Spasticity can occur weeks, months or even years after a stroke,6 possibly after a patient has stopped seeing a physician for his/her follow-up care. Spasticity continues to be under-recognized and inadequately managed.7
Although more than 95 percent of the physicians surveyed believe spasticity has a moderate to severe impact on their patients' lives, 31 percent of neurologists and 27 percent of primary care physicians focus on preventing a secondary stroke, and 22 percent of neurologists and 26 percent of primary care givers focus on managing acute needs when treating stroke survivors. Physical therapists and physiatrists* (or Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialists/PM&Rs), on the other hand, are much more focused on helping manage the after-effects of a stroke with 22 percent of PM&Rs and 38 percent of physiotherapists reporting that their focus in the first six months of a stroke patient's follow-up care is on understanding and discussing physical complications like spasticity.
"It is critical for physicians to address spasticity with their post-stroke patients at the onset of, and throughout, their follow-up care," said Dr. Elliot J. Roth, Medical Director of the Patient Recovery Unit and Attending Physician, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; Professor & Chairman, PM&R, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Spasticity is a disabling condition, but, often times, patients are either uncomfortable or too overwhelmed to discuss it with their physician. The focus after someone has experienced a stroke is so commonly on preventing a second stroke, that rehabilitation goals are covered in broad terms. This can leave patients and their caregivers feeling unprepared for a larger discussion about the post-stroke symptoms they may be experiencing, including spasticity. It's critical that patients and caregivers understand that even if a person has been experiencing spasticity for years, in many cases there are ways to help manage the condition."
For more information about spasticity, including an interactive discussion guide to help patients and caregivers facilitate a conversation with their healthcare professional, please visit www.SpasticityAfterStroke.com.
About the Survey
Two parallel surveys were conducted to better understand perceptions and experiences relating to spasticity amongst patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals:
- The Spasticity Patient and Caregiver Survey was conducted by M3 Global, a global insight and strategy firm, in September 2013 among 100 stroke survivors affected by spasticity and 200 caregivers of patients who have had a stroke, using an email invitation and an online survey sent by M3.
- The Spasticity Healthcare Professional Survey was also conducted by M3 Global in September 2013 among 780 healthcare professionals, including 300 neurologists, 220 primary care physicians, 160 physical therapy specialists, and 100 physiatrists, using an email invitation and online survey sent by M3.
About National Stroke Association
National Stroke Association is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke. To learn more, visit www.stroke.org.
About Allergan, Inc.
Allergan is a multi-specialty healthcare company established more than 60 years ago with a commitment to uncover the best of science and develop and deliver innovative and meaningful treatments to help people reach their life's potential. Today, we have approximately 11,200 highly dedicated and talented employees, global marketing and sales capabilities with a presence in more than 100 countries, a rich and ever-evolving portfolio of pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices and over-the-counter consumer products, and state-of-the-art resources in R&D, manufacturing and safety surveillance that help millions of patients see more clearly, move more freely and express themselves more fully. From our beginnings as an eye care company to our focus today on several medical specialties, including eye care, neurosciences, medical aesthetics, medical dermatology, breast aesthetics, obesity intervention and urologics, Allergan is proud to celebrate more than 60 years of medical advances and proud to support the patients and physicians who rely on our products and the employees and communities in which we live and work. For more information regarding Allergan, go to: www.allergan.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" including but not limited to the statements by Mr. Baranski and Dr. Roth, as well as other statements regarding the potential treatment of post-stroke spasticity patients. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from Allergan's expectations and projections. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, general industry and medical device market conditions; challenges related to achieving regulatory approval from the FDA on a timely and cost-efficient manner; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; inconsistency of treatment results among patients; potential difficulties in manufacturing; challenges related to new product marketing, such as the unpredictability or market acceptance for new products and/or the acceptance of new indications for such products; and governmental laws and regulations affecting domestic and foreign operations. Allergan expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law. Additional information concerning these and other risks can be found in press releases issued by Allergan, as well as Allergan's public periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the discussion under the heading "Risk Factors" in Allergan's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Copies of Allergan's press releases and additional information about Allergan are available at www.allergan.com or you can contact the Allergan Investor Relations Department by calling
1 Francisco GE, McGuire JR. Poststroke Spasticity Management. Stroke. 2012;43:3132-3136.
2 The Internet Stroke Center. Stroke Statistics. Available at http://www.strokecenter.org/patients/about-stroke/stroke-statistics/. Last accessed October 1, 2013.
3 American Heart Association. Executive Summary: Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics--2012 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2012;125:188-197
4 National Stroke Association. Stroke Perceptions Study. Available at http://www.stroke.org/site/DocServer/StrokePerceptions_FinalSurveyResults_2006.pdf?docID=1941. Last accessed October 22, 2013.
5 Data on file, Allergan, Inc. Global Safety and Epidemiology: Spasticity and comorbidity following five disorders: stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and cerebral palsy in adults, 2009.
6 Wissel J, Schelosky LD, Scott J, Christe W, Faiss JH, Mueller J. Early development of spasticity following stroke: a prospective, observational trial. J Neurol. 2010;257:1067-1072.
7 National Stroke Association (2006). New Survey Emphasizes Need for More, Better Care After Stroke (press release). Available at http://www.stroke.org/site/DocServer/NSA_Stroke_Perceptions_Survey_Press_Release__final_.pdf?docID=1943. Last accessed October 2, 2013.
SOURCE Allergan, Inc.