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Antioxidant Therapy to Reduce Inflammation in Sickle Cell Disease

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01054768
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 22, 2010
Last Update Posted : July 31, 2013
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to determine whether alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine will lower systemic inflammation in patients with Sickle Cell Disease by reducing oxidative stress, which will result in a decrease in the frequency of vaso-occlusive pain episodes and improve their quality of life.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Anemia, Sickle Cell Dietary Supplement: alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine Drug: Placebo Phase 2

Detailed Description:

People with sickle cell disease have more inflammation (a response of body tissues to injury or irritation) than people without sickle cell disease. This inflammation can be measured in the blood by checking the level of a protein called CRP as well as other changes we see in blood due to inflammation (such as changes in platelets and other cells). There is even more inflammation during sickle-related complications (like pain or acute chest syndrome). We want to test if inflammation in people with sickle cell disease can be reduced by the use of antioxidant compounds.

Antioxidants are nutrients (certain vitamins, minerals and enzymes) that can counteract the effects of oxidative stress arising from free radicals in our cells. The formation of free radicals is a normal cell process, but uncontrolled oxidative stress can cause problems for us. One such harmful problem is inflammation.

We know from other research studies that antioxidants help with some conditions related to inflammation. In this study the antioxidant being tested is a combination of alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine, both of which are natural parts of many of the foods we eat and are needed by our cells to make energy from food.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 42 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Antioxidant Therapy to Reduce Inflammation in Sickle Cell Disease
Study Start Date : August 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : April 2013
Actual Study Completion Date : April 2013

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine
LA and ALCAR 1400 mg tablet twice a day for 6 months.
Dietary Supplement: alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine
none to report
Other Name: Juvenon

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
1400 mg placebo tablet twice a day for 6 months.
Drug: Placebo
none to report

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. C-Reactive Protein [ Time Frame: 6 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Relation between oxidative stress, inflammation and antioxidant therapy [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
  2. Change in inflammatory pathways in response to antioxidant therapy [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
  3. Change in frequency of pain episodes with antioxidant therapy [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
  4. Quality of life assessments on antioxidant therapy [ Time Frame: 6 months ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   10 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Proven diagnosis of sickle cell disease, either Hb SS or Hb S Beta zero thalassemia genotype
  • Age at entry at least 14 years. Younger children will not be included since the combination alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine tablets are not available in a smaller dose at this time.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • More than 3 packed red blood transfusions in the past 12 months
  • Coexisting illness that could contribute to inflammation. These include chronic hepatitis, lupus, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic osteomyelitis, and other similar conditions.
  • Acute sickle cell disease related symptoms requiring a hospital visit in the past 4 weeks
  • Women who are pregnant, attempting to get pregnant, or breast feeding
  • Active participation in other investigational drug or device studies
  • Participants who start hydroxyurea or regular transfusion therapy during the course of the study on the recommendation of their primary hematologist will be ineligible for further participation.

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 identifier (NCT number): NCT01054768

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United States, California
Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland
Oakland, California, United States, 94609
Sponsors and Collaborators
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
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Principal Investigator: Elliott Vichinsky, MD UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
Study Chair: Bruce N. Ames, PhD UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
Study Director: Ashutosh Lal, M.D. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
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Responsible Party: UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland Identifier: NCT01054768    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2009-003
1R21AT004493-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: January 22, 2010    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 31, 2013
Last Verified: July 2013
Keywords provided by UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland:
Sickle Cell Disease
Oxidative Stress
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Anemia, Sickle Cell
Pathologic Processes
Anemia, Hemolytic, Congenital
Anemia, Hemolytic
Hematologic Diseases
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Thioctic Acid
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Protective Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Vitamin B Complex
Growth Substances
Nootropic Agents