Glycine and D-Cycloserine in Schizophrenia

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Mass General Brigham

Status and phase

Withdrawn
Phase 3

Conditions

Schizophrenia

Treatments

Drug: Glycine
Drug: Clozapine
Drug: Placebo
Drug: D-cycloserine

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other

Identifiers

NCT00000372
R01MH057708-02
DSIR

Details and patient eligibility

About

The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of D-cycloserine and glycine for treating negative symptoms (such as loss of interest, loss of energy, loss of warmth, and loss of humor) which occur between phases of positive symptoms (marked by hallucinations, delusions, and thought confusions) in schizophrenics. Clozapine is currently the most effective treatment for negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Two other drugs, D-cycloserine and glycine, are being investigated as new treatments. D-cycloserine improves negative symptoms when added to some drugs, but may worsen these symptoms when given with clozapine. Glycine also improves negative symptoms and may still be able to improve these symptoms when given with clozapine. This study gives either D-cycloserine or glycine (or an inactive placebo) with clozapine to determine which is the best combination. Patients will be assigned to 1 of 3 groups. Group 1 will receive D-cycloserine plus clozapine. Group 2 will receive glycine plus clozapine. Group 3 will receive an inactive placebo plus clozapine. Patients will receive these medications for 8 weeks. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia will be monitored through the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms, Positive symptoms will be monitored through the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and additionally subjects will complete the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Global Assessment Scale. An individual may be eligible for this study if he/she is 18 to 65 years old and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Full description

To determine if glycine produces improvement in negative symptoms and D-cycloserine produces worsening in symptoms compared to placebo, patients will undergo a double blind study of d-cycloserine and glycine treatment added to clozapine. Clozapine is more effective for negative symptoms of schizophrenia than conventional neuroleptics, but the neurochemical actions contributing to this superior clinical efficacy remain unclear. Recent evidence points to a role for glutamatergic dysregulation in schizophrenia, as well as important differences between conventional agents and clozapine in effects upon glutamatergic systems. D-cycloserine, a partial agonist at the glycine modulatory site of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, improves negative symptoms when added to conventional agents and worsens negative symptoms when added to clozapine. High-dose glycine also improves negative symptoms and has provided preliminary evidence suggesting that glycine improves negative symptoms when added to clozapine. Serum concentrations of glycine predicted response to both high-dose glycine and D-cycloserine. Both clozapine and D-cycloserine may improve negative symptoms by activation of the glycine modulatory site of the NMDA receptor complex. Because D-cycloserine is a partial agonist, it may act as an antagonist at the glycine site in the presence of clozapine, whereas the full agonist, glycine, would not be expected to worsen negative symptoms in the presence of clozapine. This study proposes to administer a fixed-dose of D-cycloserine, glycine, or placebo added to clozapine in 45 patients with schizophrenia. Because assessments are standardized between studies, results from this study can be compared with results from a previous study of D-cycloserine added to conventional neuroleptic. The study was ultimately suspended before participants were enrolled, due to definitive findings indicating that pairing treatment of D-cycloserine with Clozapine resulted in worsening of negative symptoms.

Sex

All

Ages

18 to 65 years old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
  • Score of 27 or greater on the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS)
  • Treatment with stable dose of clozapine for at least 4 weeks
  • Between 18 and 65 years old

Exclusion criteria

  • No other antipsychotic medications in oral for for at least 3 months or in depot form for 6 months
  • Current major depressive episode
  • Current substance abuse diagnosis

Trial design

Primary purpose

Treatment

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

Triple Blind

0 participants in 3 patient groups, including a placebo group

Glycine
Experimental group
Description:
The patients will undergo a 2 week single blind placebo lead in followed by an 8 week randomly assigned double blind treatment phase with 30 grams of glycine in 7 ounces of lemonade twice a day in addition to clozapine treatment.
Treatment:
Drug: Clozapine
Drug: Glycine
Placebo
Placebo Comparator group
Description:
The patients will undergo a 2 week single blind placebo lead in followed by an 8 week randomly assigned double blind treatment phase with 30 grams of placebo powder in 7 ounces of lemonade twice a day in addition to clozapine treatment.
Treatment:
Drug: Placebo
Drug: Clozapine
D-Cycloserine
Experimental group
Description:
The patients will undergo a 2 week single blind placebo lead in followed by an 8 week randomly assigned double blind treatment phase with D-cycloserine in addition to clozapine treatment.
Treatment:
Drug: D-cycloserine
Drug: Clozapine

Trial contacts and locations

1

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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