Last updated on November 2019

Estriol Treatment in Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Effect on Cognition


Brief description of study

Approximately 50% of people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) will develop problems with cognition. Currently, there are no FDA-approved treatments targeting cognitive function in Multiple Sclerosis. This trial will ascertain whether treatment with an estrogen pill, used in combination with standard MS anti-inflammatory drugs, can improve cognitive testing as compared to treatment with a placebo pill in combination with standard anti-inflammatory drugs in women with MS.

Detailed Study Description

Approximately 50% of people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) will develop problems with cognition. Currently, there are no FDA-approved treatments for cognitive function in Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis relapses are known to be significantly decreased by approximately 80% during late pregnancy. This disease improvement may be due to estriol, an estrogen unique to pregnancy. Estriol blood levels go from undetectable levels prior to pregnancy, increase during pregnancy and reach highest levels during late pregnancy. Further, estrogen treatment has been shown to have favorable effects on cognition in animal models of other neurological diseases. This proposal will establish whether oral treatment with estriol, induces an improvement in cognitive functioning in subjects with multiple sclerosis when used in combination with the major FDA-approved standard treatments for MS, (Betaseron (or Extavia), Rebif, Avonex, Copaxone, Gilenya, Aubagio, Tecfidera, or Ocrevus).

The combination of standard MS treatment plus estriol pill (8 mg per day) will be compared to standard MS treatment plus placebo in a double-blinded fashion. The duration of treatment will be one year and the primary outcome measure will be cognitive testing processing speed ability.

Secondary outcomes will be improvement in other cognitive tests, brain MRIs, cognitive evoked potentials, as well as relapse rates and disability measures (EDSS, 25 foot walk, 9 hole peg test, low contrast visual acuity, MS Quality of Life, Modified Fatigue Impact Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Level of Activity using accelerometry). Safety measures (blood tests and gynecologic evaluations) will also be followed. The overall goal of this study will be the development of an oral treatment, estriol, to improve cognitive function in MS.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT01466114

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