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Valproic Acid in Subjects With Intact Cognition - Proof of Concept Study

Information source: University of Kentucky
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 20, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Alzheimer's Disease

Intervention: Valproic Acid (Drug); Placebo (Drug)

Phase: Phase 0

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: University of Kentucky

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Steve Estus, PhD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: University of Kentucky
Gregory Jicha, MD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: University of Kentucky


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety of administration and effects of valproic acid on clusterin expression in cognitively-intact, healthy, elderly subjects. Clusterin mutations have recently been identified as a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's Disease and changes in clusterin expression are seen in the elderly who develop Alzheimer's disease irrespective of whether they carry these genetic mutations or not. Valproic acid may prevent or reverse these changes. Fourteen subjects with normal memory and thinking will participate in this study. Ten of these subjects will receive valproic acid and 4 will receive a "placebo" capsule with no active medicine. Participants will take study medication or placebo for 28 days and be followed for a total 35 days in this trial.

Clinical Details

Official title: Safety And Target Engagement Of Clu1 By Valproic Acid In Subjects With Intact Cognition: Proof Of Concept For The Development Of A Prevention Trial For Alzheimer's Disease

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Primary outcome: Frequency of adverse events

Secondary outcome:

Change in cerebrospinal fluid amyloid levels

Change in cerebrospinal fluid tau levels

Cognitive tests

Change in cerebrospinal fluid clusterin levels

Detailed description: This is a placebo-controlled, single-center, multiple ascending dose study. Seven healthy volunteers will be enrolled into 2 sequential cohorts, for a total of 14 enrolled subjects. The study will be conducted using two doses of valproate (250 mg PO bid, followed by 500 mg PO bid). At each dose level, 7 cognitively intact normal elderly subjects will be entered into the study with two subjects randomly selected to receive placebo while the other five subjects receive the designated dose of valproate. Study procedures will include routine assessment of adverse events, safety labs, baseline MRI, physical and neurological exams, and cerebrospinal fluid collection. Other investigational medication or devices are prohibited during this study.


Minimum age: 65 Years. Maximum age: 90 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria: 1. Men or women aged 65-90, inclusive. 2. English-speaking, to ensure compliance with cognitive testing and study visit procedures. 3. Female participants must not be pregnant or of childbearing potential, i. e. either surgically sterile or postmenopausal for > 1 year. 4. Stable medical condition for three months prior to screening visit, with no clinically significant abnormalities of hepatic, renal, and hematologic function defined as follows:

- Platelets > 100,000

- Serum creatinine ≤ 1. 6 mg/dL

- Liver function tests ≤ 1. 5 upper limit of normal

- No clinically significant abnormalities of other laboratory studies (blood

counts, chemistry panel, urinalysis) as determined by the study physician 5. Stable medications for 4 weeks prior to screening visit. 6. Able to ingest oral medications. 7. No history of adverse drug reactions to VPA or similar agents. 8. Physically acceptable for this study as confirmed by medical history, physical exam, neurological exam and clinical tests in the opinion of the study physician. 9. Not demented by Hachinski Ischemic Index (< 4). Exclusion Criteria: 1. Significant neurologic disease such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, brain tumor, multiple sclerosis or seizure disorder. 2. Major depression in past 12 months (DSM-IV criteria), major mental illness such as schizophrenia, or recent (in past 12 months) alcohol or substance abuse by history. 3. History of invasive cancer within the past two years (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). 4. Contra-indications to lumbar puncture (bleeding disorder, platelet count < 100,000, anticoagulant treatment, major structural abnormality or sepsis in the area of the lumbosacral spine that would make spinal fluid collection technically difficult). 5. Clinically significant MRI abnormalities that contraindicate lumber or suggest central nervous system disease processes that could influence study outcomes in the opinion of the PI. 6. Use of any investigational agents within 30 days prior to screening. 7. Major surgery within eight weeks prior to the Baseline Visit. 8. Severe unstable medical illnesses, including uncontrolled cardiac conditions or heart failure (New York Heart Association Class III or IV) . 9. Antiretroviral therapy for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). 10. Residence in a skilled nursing facility. 11. Blindness, deafness, language difficulties or any other disability which may prevent the participant from participating or cooperating in the protocol. Excluded Medications 1. Experimental drugs 2. Lamictal 3. Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline/nortryptiline) 4. Carbamazepine/ oxcarbazepine 5. Benzodiazepines 6. Phenobarbital 7. Phenytoin 8. Tolbutamide 9. Topiramate 10. Warfarin 11. Zidovudine

Locations and Contacts

Sander's Brown Center on Aging, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, United States
Additional Information

Starting date: April 2012
Last updated: February 15, 2015

Page last updated: August 20, 2015

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