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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2011 April;102(2):141-7

language: English

Use of palmitoylethanolamide in the entrapment neuropathy of the median in the wrist

Conigliaro R. 1, Drago V. 2,3, Foster P. S. 4, Schievano C. 5, Di Marzo V. 6

1 Operative Unity of Neurology, Siracusa, Italy;
2 Department of Neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA;
3 Oasi Institute for Research in Mental Retardation and Brain Aging, Troina, Enna, Italy;
4 Department of Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, USA;
5 Department of Pharmacy, University of Padua, Padua, Italy;
6 Endocannabinoid Research Group, Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Pozzuoli, Naples, Italy;


AIM: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition in which the median nerve is compressed, leading to discomfort and pain. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an endogenous fatty acid amide, able to modulate inflammatory cell reactivity and pain. This study deals with the capability of PEA to normalize the electroneurographic alterations associated with moderate CTS.
METHODS: Patients displaying moderate CTS were enrolled and daily PEA (600 mg or 1 200 mg/die) was administered for 30 days. Control group received no treatment.
RESULTS: PEA treatment significantly improved the CTS-induced reduction of median nerve latency time (P<0.0004); PEA effect was dose-dependent. Tinel’s sign presence and symptoms of discomfort were also reduced.
CONCLUSION: Although further studies are needed to better characterize PEA effect, the present report represents the first evidence on the improvement of distal motor latency elicited by PEA in patients with moderate CTS. The data support the hypothesis of protection against inflammatory and neuropathic pain by PEA.

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