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Schneider, Nina; Potschka, Heidrun; Reese, Sven ORCID: 0000-0002-4605-9791; Wieländer, Franziska ORCID: 0000-0002-3113-5659; Fischer, Andrea ORCID: 0000-0001-7094-1947 (7. November 2020): Imepitoin for treatment of idiopathic head tremor syndrome in dogs: A randomize d, blinded, placebo-controlled study. In: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
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Abstract

Background: Idiopathic head tremor syndrome is a paroxysmal movement disorder of unknown etiology. Spontaneous remission may occur, but owners may request treatment in severely affected dogs with continued episodes. Controlled studies of the disease are not available. Hypothesis/Objectives: A drug with gamma amino butyric acid-ergic and anxiolytic effects will decrease head tremor episodes. Animals: Twenty-four dogs with severe nonremitting head tremor and presumptive clinical diagnosis of idiopathic head tremor syndrome. Methods: Prospective, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial to compare imepitoin with placebo in dogs with frequent episodes of idiopathic head tremor. Evaluation of efficacy used the quotient T2/T1 that represented prolongation of the head tremor- free period compared to a 3-month baseline. A dog was considered a responder if tremors subsided or if the head tremor-free period was 3× longer than the longest period during baseline (T2/T1 ≥ 3). Sample size calculations considered a large effect of imepitoin on T2/T1 (Cohen's d = 0.8). Results: There were no responders in the placebo group (0/12). In the imepitoin group, the responder rate was 17% (2/12; P = .18) with T2/T1 3.8 and 4.0. Mean T2/ T1 was 1.0 ± 1.4 in the imepitoin and 0.4 ± 0.4 in the placebo group (P = .37). Conclusion and Clinical Importance: Imepitoin did not result in a significant overall benefit. Future studies should focus on treatment of subgroups with a common path- ophysiology and similar comorbidities.