The Role of Serotonin in Seizures
This study will investigate the role that a brain chemical called serotonin plays in seizures. Serotonin, present naturally in the brain, helps transmit signals between nerve cells. Glucose is a sugar that is the main fuel of the brain. Studying these two chemicals may help explain why people with epilepsy get seizures and are more likely to be depressed.
Healthy volunteers and patients 18 to 60 years of age who have epilepsy with or without depression and whose seizures are not controlled by medication may be eligible for this study. Candidates are screened with a review of their medical history, a physical examination and an electroencephalogram (EEG, brain wave recording).
Participants undergo the following procedures:
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans: The first of three PET scans measures brain blood flow and the activity at some of the brain serotonin receptors (the parts of brain cells to which serotonin attaches). A second scan measures the amount of serotonin transported between brain cells. A third scan measures glucose use. The PET scanner is shaped like a doughnut. The subject lies on a bed that slides in and out of the scanner with his or her head inside the opening. A special mask is fitted to the subject s head to help keep it still during the procedure so the images will be clear. For the first scan, catheters (plastic tubes) are placed in an arm vein to inject a radioactive substance and in an artery in the wrist to collect blood samples. The other two scans require only the catheter in the arm.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: This test uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to obtain images of the brain. The scanner is a metal cylinder surrounded by a strong magnetic field. The subject lies on a table that can slide in and out of the cylinder. Most scans last between 45 and 90 minutes. Subjects wear earplugs to muffle loud knocking noises that occur during scanning.
- Psychological evaluation: Subjects are interviewed and fill out questionnaires to help study sadness and depression in epilepsy.
- Blood draw: Blood tests look for differences in genes between people with epilepsy who are depressed and those who are not.
|Official Title:||Imaging Serotoninergic Neurotransmission in Epilepsy|
|Study Start Date:||February 2007|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||June 2015|
Objective: To study serotonergic transmission in epilepsy and its relation to cerebral glucose metabolism, mesial temporal sclerosis, and depression.
Study population: Patients with localization-related epilepsy with and without depression, and generalized epilepsy, and normal controls, ages 18-60.
Design: This is a neuroimaging study using positron emission tomography with a 5HT(1A) receptor ligand, 18F-FCWAY, a serotonin transporter ligand, 11C-DASB, and 15O-H2O for cerebral blood flow estimation. Patients will have measurements of cerebral glucose metabolism using 18F-FDG as well. Magnetic resonance imaging will be performed for examination of hippocampal structure and partial volume correction. Screening for depression will be performed by NIMH investigators. We will measure cortisol and ACTH levels, which may affect hippocampal structure and function. Testing for genetic markers that may predict serotonin transporter activity and depression will be performed.
Outcome measures: 5HT(1A) receptor binding, serotonin transporter activity, cerebral blood flow, and, in patients, glucose metabolism and hippocampal structure. Patients will be stratified by seizure type and depression ratings.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00439387
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|
|Principal Investigator:||William H Theodore, M.D.||National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)|