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Pharmacotherapy and Mechanisms of Sleep Disturbance in Alcohol Dependence (MA)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01014533
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 17, 2009
Results First Posted : November 1, 2017
Last Update Posted : December 6, 2017
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Dr. Kirk Brower, University of Michigan

Brief Summary:

Insomnia and other sleep abnormalities are common, persistent, and associated with relapse in alcohol-dependent patients. The overall, long-term objectives of the proposed research are to investigate the neurophysiologic mechanisms of sleep disturbance that are associated with relapse in patients with alcohol dependence, and to target those mechanisms with medication in order to reduce relapse risk.

The specific research aims are:

  1. To investigate three potential mechanisms of sleep disturbance in alcoholic patients: impaired sleep drive, impaired circadian regulation of alertness, and brain hyperactivation;
  2. To investigate short-term effects of medication on sleep and its regulatory mechanisms in alcoholics;
  3. To investigate the short-term clinical course of alcoholism as a function of baseline sleep parameters.

In Study Phases I & II (Screening & Baseline: 10+ days), subjects are assessed to diagnose alcohol dependence, determine baseline values for drinking and sleeping, and rule out confounding sleep-impairing causes.

Phase III (Medication: 10 days), is a randomized, double-blind parallel design comparison of gabapentin vs. placebo on mechanisms of sleep. It is not a therapeutic or clinical trial. Phases II & III each have 7 days of monitoring sleep and activity, followed by 3 nights in the University of Michigan (UM) sleep laboratory to assess all-night EEG activity and Dim-Light Melatonin Onset (DLMO), a measure of circadian rhythm.

Phase IV is a 2-day medication taper and Phase V (Follow-up) consists of one visit or telephone call after 12 weeks to assess course of drinking.

In summary, sleep disturbance in alcoholic patients increases their risk of relapse. This study proposes to investigate the mechanisms causing sleep disturbance in alcoholics and to determine if those mechanisms predict return to drinking after 12 weeks.

Relevance: Alcoholism is a devastating chronic disorder that in any one year affects 10% of adults, costs over $185 billion, and causes more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S. Despite treatment, most alcoholic patients achieve only short-term abstinence. Medically-based treatment improvements are needed that target neurophysiologic mechanisms of relapse. Overall public health will be improved by developing science-based treatments that can augment existing, but only partially effective, treatment approaches.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Alcohol Dependence Insomnia Drug: Placebo dispensed to subject. Drug: Gabapentin dispensed to subject.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 59 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Other
Official Title: This is a Study Exploring the Reasons Why People With Alcohol Dependence Have Sleep Disturbances, and Whether or Not a Study Medication, Gabapentin, vs. Placebo, Affects Those Sleep Patterns.
Actual Study Start Date : May 2007
Primary Completion Date : September 2011
Study Completion Date : September 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

U.S. FDA Resources

Arm Intervention/treatment
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
After 3 nights in the UM sleep lab and randomization, this arm receives placebo for one week. They then return to the sleep lab for the same procedures.
Drug: Placebo dispensed to subject.
Placebo for 11 days, (one pill at bedtime on nights 1 and 2, 2 pills at bedtime on nights 3-10, and 1 pill at bedtime on night 11, then D/C). They return to the Sleep Lab for polysomnography on nights 8 - 10 of medication so their sleep data can be compared.
Active Comparator: Gabapentin
After spending 3 baseline nights in the UM sleep lab, alcohol dependent subjects are randomized. This arm receives gabapentin . On nights 1 and 2 of medication, the dose is 600 mg by mouth 30 min before bedtime. On nights 3-10, the dose is 1200 mg by mouth 30 min before bedtime. On nights 8-10 of medication, subjects return to the UM sleep lab and complete 3 sleep nights with the same procedures. On night 11, the dose is reduced to 600 mg by mouth 30 min before bedtime, and then stopped.
Drug: Gabapentin dispensed to subject.
After spending 3 baseline nights in the UM Sleep Lab, alcohol dependent subjects are randomized to receive either gabapentin or placebo for 11 days. (1 pill (600 mg) at bedtime on nights 1 and 2, 2 pills (totalling 1200 mg) at bedtime on nights 3-10, and 1 pill (600 mg) at bedtime on night 11, then D/C). On nights 8 - 10 of medication, subjects return to the lab and sleep 3 more nights with the same procedures.
Other Name: Neurontin is the brand name for Gabapentin.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Percentage of Total Sleep Time in Stage 2 Sleep Pre- and Post-study Medication (Stage 2 Percent) [ Time Frame: 1 week ]
    Electrophysiological measures of sleep stages: percent of total sleep time in stage 2 sleep

  2. Wake Time After Sleep Onset (WASO) Measured in Sleep Laboratory Recordings Pre- and Post- Study Medication [ Time Frame: 1 week ]
    Wake time after sleep onset (WASO) (number of minutes awake throughout the night after initial sleep onset)

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Relapse to Any Drinking [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Relapse to any drinking is counted as participants who drank any beverage alcohol from end of sleep laboratory study (night 10) to twelve weeks later

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Meet DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence (as confirmed by the SCID)
  • Between 3 and 12 weeks since last drink (as measured by the TLFB)
  • At least 2 weeks since last detoxification medication, if relevant
  • An alcohol withdrawal rating score < 8 (as measured by the CIWA-Ar) to rule out acute alcohol withdrawal effects on sleep.
  • Expresses a desire to stop drinking or a willingness to abstain from alcohol and/or other drugs of abuse (except nicotine) during the course of the study

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Subjects who meet DSM-IV criteria for dependence on any psychoactive substance other than alcohol (except nicotine) in the past 3 months (per SCID interview).
  • Subjects with a current (past 1 month) DSM-IV diagnosis of panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, anorexia nervosa, or bulimia nervosa (per SCID interview) and/or that require ongoing psychotropic medication.
  • Subjects who have a lifetime diagnosis meeting DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional (paranoid) disorders, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Urine drug screen positive for amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, or opioids. (If positive, subjects have one opportunity to test negative after a week of abstinence).
  • Medical disorders or pain syndromes that may affect sleep; history of head trauma with loss of consciousness; history of seizures (except alcohol-related seizures).
  • Subjects with elevated renal tests (blood urea nitrogen or creatinine), because gabapentin is renally eliminated, or elevated liver transaminases (>3X normal), or abnormal thyroid tests as thyroid problems can affect sleep.
  • Sleep disorders other than insomnia such as sleep apnea/hypopnea index >10 per hour or periodic limb movement disorder; PLM>15 movements per hour with arousals.
  • Taking medications known to affect sleep (e.g., antidepressants, anticonvulsants, centrally acting antihistamines, neuroleptics, sedative-hypnotics, stimulants, centrally acting antihypertensives [alpha-methyldopa, reserpine, clonidine], oral corticosteroids, and theophylline within the past 2 weeks or 5 weeks for fluoxetine).
  • Subjects taking medications used to treat addiction (e.g., disulfiram, naltrexone or acamprosate) are excluded because of unknown effects on sleep.
  • Subjects who do evening or midnight shift work. (Subjects who have traveled across multiple time zones in the previous two weeks will be included only at the discretion of the P.I.)
  • Pregnancy, breast feeding, or inadequate contraception in women of child-bearing potential.
  • Subjects who are unable or unlikely to follow the study protocol in the investigator 's opinion, because of cognitive deficits (Mini-Mental State Exam score < 27), a personality disorder, a serious suicide risk, dangerousness to others, illiteracy, or unstable or distant living situation.
  • Subjects with a known allergy, hypersensitivity or contraindication to study medication.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT01014533

United States, Michigan
University of Michigan Health System
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, 48109
Sponsors and Collaborators
Dr. Kirk Brower
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Principal Investigator: Kirk J Brower, M.D. University of Michigan

Responsible Party: Dr. Kirk Brower, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Michigan
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01014533     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HUM00010947
1R01AA016117-01A1 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: November 17, 2009    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: November 1, 2017
Last Update Posted: December 6, 2017
Last Verified: October 2017

Keywords provided by Dr. Kirk Brower, University of Michigan:
Alcohol dependence
Dim light melatonin onset

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
Sleep Wake Disorders
Sleep Disorders, Intrinsic
Nervous System Diseases
Mental Disorders
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Neurologic Manifestations
Signs and Symptoms
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Anti-Infective Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Antiparkinson Agents
Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
Calcium Channel Blockers
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Anti-Anxiety Agents