Lamotrigine Therapy in Geriatric Bipolar Depression

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Brent Forester, Mclean Hospital Identifier:
First received: July 18, 2008
Last updated: May 4, 2012
Last verified: May 2012
We propose to study the efficacy and tolerability of lamotrigine in the treatment of older adults with bipolar depression and to compare measures of brain energy metabolism between older subjects with bipolar depression and healthy age-matched controls in order to better understand treatment response in geriatric bipolar depression.

Condition Intervention
Bipolar Depression
Drug: Lamotrigine

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Lamotrigine Therapy in the Treatment of Geriatric Bipolar Depression: An Evaluation of Markers of Cerebral Energy Metabolism

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Mclean Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • We will measure changes in mood symptom severity, as assessed by the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale. [ Time Frame: 8 Week Trial ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • We will measure changes in lactate, glutamate, and NAA concentrations in individuals with bipolar depression before and after treatment with Lamotrigine. [ Time Frame: 8 Week Trial ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 35
Study Start Date: April 2006
Study Completion Date: December 2011
Primary Completion Date: July 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
A: Other
Open Label Study
Drug: Lamotrigine
Lamotrigine with dosage range from 25 mg to 200 mg per day.
Other Name: Lamictal

Detailed Description:

We will use MRI techniques and neuropsychological testing to investigate potential markers of treatment response in elderly bipolar depressed patients receiving lamotrigine and age-matched, non-depressed controls.

We intend to test these hypotheses:

  1. At least 50% of older subjects with bipolar depression will respond treatment with lamotrigine as evidenced by a 50% reduction on the Montgomery Asberg Rating Scale (MADRS). In addition, treatment with lamotrigine will be safe and well tolerated as evidenced by a drop-out rate of less than 10% due to adverse effects.
  2. Compared with healthy age-matched, non-demented, non-depressed controls, subjects with geriatric bipolar depression will demonstrate abnormalities in cerebral energy metabolism as assessed by elevated levels of glutamate and lactate, and decreased levels of NAA, using 1H MRS at 4T.
  3. Successful treatment with lamotrigine in geriatric bipolar depression will result in decreases in lactate and glutamate, and elevations in NAA.
  4. Baseline measures of executive functioning and information processing speed (measured by performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Trails A and B and Stroop tests) will be impaired in subjects with geriatric bipolar depression compared with healthy controls. These measures will improve with successful treatment with lamotrigine and correlate with improvements in markers of cerebral energy metabolism (lactate, glutamate, NAA).

Ages Eligible for Study:   60 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria (for Bipolar Subjects):

  • 60 years or older
  • Meet DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for Bipolar Disorder, Current Episode Depressed
  • First episode of mania before the age of 50 (early-onset bipolar disorder)
  • Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) Score of greater or equal to 20.
  • Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) of less than or equal to 6.
  • Able to provide informed consent
  • Must speak English
  • Must be able to visit McLean Hospital for the screening visit and six study visits during the 8-week duration of the study.
  • Subjects may be taking other medications for bipolar depression including antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotic mediations prior to lamotrigine therapy, but may not have any dosage adjustments of these medications in the week before lamotrigine is added.

Exclusion Criteria (for Bipolar Subjects):

  • Serious or unstable medical illness, including cardiovascular, hepatic, renal, respiratory, endocrine, neurologic or hematologic disease.
  • History of seizure disorder
  • History or current diagnosis of the following psychiatric illnesses: any organic mental disorder (including dementia), schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, psychotic disorder not otherwise specified, unipolar major depressive disorder, patients with substance dependence disorders, including alcohol, active within the last 12 months.
  • First episode of mania after the age of 50 (to exclude late-onset bipolar disorder)
  • History of multiple adverse drug reactions or allergy to the study drugs.
  • Use of medications that are excluded in this study (benzodiazepines, barbiturates; however, the use of non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics (such as zolpidem (Ambien)) may be used as needed except within 48 hours of the MRI scan)
  • Any of the exclusion criteria mentioned in the MRI risks section below

Inclusion Criteria (for Controls):

  • 60 years or older
  • Able to provide informed consent
  • Must speak English
  • Women entering this study must be post-menopausal

Exclusion Criteria (for Controls):

- Same criteria for the Bipolar Depressed group with the exception of the "first episode of mania" which is not applicable.

  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: NCT00720473

United States, Massachusetts
McLean Hospital
Belmont, Massachusetts, United States, 02478
Sponsors and Collaborators
Mclean Hospital
Principal Investigator: Brent P Forester, MD Mclean Hospital
  More Information

Responsible Party: Brent Forester, Director, Mood Disorders Division, Geriatric Psychiatry Research Program, Mclean Hospital Identifier: NCT00720473     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2005-P-002493 
Study First Received: July 18, 2008
Last Updated: May 4, 2012
Health Authority: United States: Food and Drug Administration

Keywords provided by Mclean Hospital:
Bipolar depression
Brain energy metabolism

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Bipolar Disorder
Depressive Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Bipolar and Related Disorders
Mental Disorders
Mood Disorders
Calcium Channel Blockers
Excitatory Amino Acid Agents
Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Sodium Channel Blockers
Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Blockers processed this record on May 26, 2016