Last updated on May 2019

Conservative Iron Chelation as a Disease-modifying Strategy in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Brief description of study

The alteration of iron metabolism is reported in animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as well as in sporadic and genetic forms (SOD1 and C9orf72) of ALS. The high iron concentration of the brain, due to its high energy demand (high oxygen consumption), makes motor neurons particularly vulnerable to energy deficit and oxidative stress. Post-mortem examinations and MRI scans in patients with ALS have found signs of iron accumulation in the central motor tract; and a high level of serum ferritin, which is a marker of iron levels, is associated with a lower prognosis. In ALS mouse models, the use of iron chelators has demonstrated neuroprotection and increased life expectancy, suggesting that elimination of excess iron from the brain can prevent neuronal loss and, consequently, a slow progression of the disease. Conservative chelation of iron refers to a modality whereby much of the iron that binds to the chelator is redistributed in the body rather than exhausted. Using a chelator, deferiprone, with this feature, in a safety pilot study, a very good safety profile was observed. Deferiprone eliminated excess iron from brain regions, reduced oxidative damage and cell death associated with regional iron deposits with no apparent negative impact on the iron levels needed. Now, the efficacy of this new therapeutic modality of neuroprotection is being evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03293069

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