Last updated on October 2019

Olanzapine for the Treatment of Appetite Loss in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)


Brief description of study

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an adult neurodegenerative disease that is caused by a selective degeneration of the motor nerve cells in the cortex and myelon. As a result of motor neurodegeneration, a progredient paralysis of the extremities and of the speaking, swallowing, and breathing musculature develops. ALS leads to death by respiratory insufficiency in a mean course of 3-5 years. More than 80% of ALS patients present with a clinically significant and undesirable weight loss. The cause of weight loss is heterogeneous. Fundamentally, the investigators must distinguish malnutrition, cachexia and loss of appetite. Loss of weight is an independent prognosis factor in ALS. Effective treatment of undesirable weight loss is an important therapy goal for ALS. The researchers propose an investigational therapy of ALS with oral administration of Olanzapine. The rationale for this study is based on the weight-increasing effect of OLN. The clinical trial aims to employ OLN-induced weight gain or weight stabilization as a symptomatic therapy for the loss of appetite. An undesired weight loss of at least 10% of the body weight should be reduced through the weight-increasing effect of OLN. The hypothesis states that the undesired weight loss in ALS patients during treatment with OLN 10mg in combination with Riluzole (RIL) 100mg is at least 20 percentage points less than for treatment with placebo in combination with 100 mg RIL.

Detailed Study Description

After randomization, there is a placebo-controlled parallel group treatment with 10 mg OLN in combination with the standard treatment of Riluzole (100mg/day)(Group 1) in comparison to treatment with placebo in combination with 100 mg RIL (Group 2). Study drug will be provided as 5 mg tablets. OLN will be begun in an initial dosage of 5 mg/day for one week. The intake will occur in the evening hours in the form of a capsule containing 5 mg OLN. The evening dose of Riluzole can be taken together with the OLN medication. After one week (day 8), the dose will be increase to 10 mg OLN/day, which will be taken in the form of two capsules at the same timepoint in the evening hours. This dose will be continued for 51 weeks.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT00876772

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