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Treating Schizophrenia by Correcting Abnormal Brain Development

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified March 2017 by Tsung-Ung Wilson Woo, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Tsung-Ung Wilson Woo, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Identifier:
First received: September 12, 2005
Last updated: March 2, 2017
Last verified: March 2017

The purpose of this study is to determine whether treatment with tiagabine (Gabitril) during the early course of schizophrenia can fundamentally correct the brain deficits associated with the disease.

This study is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Condition Intervention Phase
Drug: Tiagabine
Drug: Placebo
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Participant, Care Provider, Investigator
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Addition of Tiagabine to Second-Generation Antipsychotics in the Treatment of Recent-Onset Schizophrenia by Modification of Developmental Reorganization of the Prefrontal Cortex

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Tsung-Ung Wilson Woo, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Neurocognitive Functions [ Time Frame: 6 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Clinical symptoms [ Time Frame: 6 months ]

Estimated Enrollment: 36
Study Start Date: November 2003
Estimated Study Completion Date: July 2019
Estimated Primary Completion Date: July 2018 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Antipsychotic plus study drug
Half of the subjects will receive the study medications in addition to their ongoing antipsychotic regimen.
Drug: Tiagabine
Up to 36 mg daily
Placebo Comparator: Antipsychotics plus placebo
Half of the subjects will receive placebo in addition to their antipsychotic regimen.
Drug: Placebo

Detailed Description:
It is hypothesized that enhancement of GABA neurotransmission during the early course of the illness by tiagabine (Gabitril), a GABA transporter GAT-1-specific inhibitor and a FDA-approved anticonvulsant, will improve both clinical symptoms and working memory in schizophrenia. This improvement is postulated to be the result of tiagabine-mediated modification of the developmental synaptic pruning of prefrontal cortical circuitry. The occurrence of circuitry modification after tiagabine treatment will be assessed by the following independent methodologic approaches: MRI morphometric analysis of prefrontal gray matter volume and fMRI measurements of brain activity patterns during performance of tasks that probe working memory.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 25 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Meets criteria for the diagnosis of schizophrenia, with onset of psychotic symptoms within the past 3 years.
  • Currently on second-generation antipsychotics for at least 3 months.
  • Age 18-25, otherwise healthy.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.
  • Has failed two or more clinically adequate antipsychotic trials.
  • History of seizures or any neurologic disorders.
  • Pregnant or nursing women.
  • Known HIV infection.
  • Actively suicidal.
  • History of any substance dependence.
  • Currently meets criteria for substance abuse/dependence.
  • Other MRI exclusion criteria per Radiology Department protocols.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00179465

Contact: Noel Shaskan, B.A. 617-855-2381

United States, Massachusetts
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Recruiting
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02115
Contact: T.-U. Wilson Woo, M.D., Ph.D.    617-855-2823   
Principal Investigator: T.-U. Wilson Woo, M.D., Ph.D.         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Principal Investigator: T.-U. Wilson Woo, M.D., Ph.D. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
  More Information

Responsible Party: Tsung-Ung Wilson Woo, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Identifier: NCT00179465     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2004P000078
Study First Received: September 12, 2005
Last Updated: March 2, 2017

Keywords provided by Tsung-Ung Wilson Woo, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center:
Brain development

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
Mental Disorders
Antipsychotic Agents
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
GABA Agonists
GABA Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Psychotropic Drugs processed this record on May 25, 2017