Last updated on November 2018

Clinical Importance of Glucose Regulation in Relapsing MS


Brief description of study

The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship of blood glucose levels in persons with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who have experienced a relapse and will be receiving intravenous steroids for the relapse, to their recovery from the relapse.

Steroid exposure commonly leads to elevated serum blood glucose, however, standardized monitoring of blood glucose levels in the outpatient setting is not common. The clinical impact of any associated elevated blood glucose during steroid administration is unknown. We hypothesize that the blood glucose response to steroid treatment is clinically relevant to the MS-relapse recovery.

Detailed Study Description

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neuroinflammatory and degenerative central nervous system disorder. The majority of patients have an early relapsing-remitting course. Standard treatment for an MS-relapse is intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP), typically 1000 mg daily for 3 days. Despite IVMP treatment, >40% of MS patients experience residual deficits after an MS-relapse. Potential risk factors for poor relapse recovery remain unclear.

Elevated serum blood glucose is a common and well-defined consequence of steroid administration, attributed to steroid-related reductions in insulin sensitivity. Individuals with pre-treatment insulin resistance (e.g. diabetics) will exhibit an amplified hyperglycemic response. Reduced mobility, sedentary lifestyle, and repeated exposure to steroids- all of which are common in MS - are recognized risk factors for insulin resistance. These factors may make MS patients particularly susceptible to steroid-induced hyperglycemia. While, MS patients commonly receive intravenous steroids, the clinical impact of any associated hyperglycemia is unknown.

Study Design and Methods Timeline: Study will require 3 visits over a 6 month period.

Subjects: MS subjects who are experiencing an acute relapse will be recruited for the study. Prior to any study procedures, the PI or research coordinator will obtain full written informed consent.

Baseline Measurements: age, race/ethnicity, sex, weight, height, waist circumference, blood pressure, previous steroid exposure (dates, frequency, steroid type and dose), smoking history, and family history of diabetes. Medication review will include MS disease-modifying therapy, symptomatic medications, and non-MS-related medications. Additional MS-related information will include dates of initial MS-symptom onset, MS diagnosis, and onset of presenting relapse symptoms.

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) & Matsuda Index: Prior to steroid administration, MS subjects will undergo a 2-hour OGTT. OGTT and Matsuda Index will then be repeated at the 3- and 6-month follow-up visits.

Blood studies: HgA1c (hemoglobin A1C), a fasting lipid panel (LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, and total cholesterol), insulin growth factor, vitamin D level, adiponectin level, homocysteine level, and leptin level. All laboratory tests completed at baseline, 3- and 6-month visits.

Surveys: Subjects will complete surveys related to their perceived disability, relapse severity and recovery, and other MS-related symptoms.

Functional testing: EDSS, MS Functional Composite, timed-walk testing, accelerometry, low contrast visual acuity test (LCVA) and the symbol digit modality test (SDMT).

Intravenous steroid treatment: Standardized 1000 mg of intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP) daily for 3 days (reconstituted in 0.9% sodium chloride). IVMP will be billed to patient insurance as part of routine clinical care.

Blood glucose monitoring: Bayer Contour Next glucometer will be used to measure capillary BG levels 6 times daily (Subjects will be instructed to check their BG starting on the day of screening and to continue BG checks (as above) until their return appointment 5-7 days after steroid treatment completion for a total of 8-10 days. Subjects will be required to avoid snacks between meals for the 3 days of IVMP treatment.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03004079

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