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Antiglucocorticoid Therapy for Cognitive Impairment in Late-life Anxiety Disorders (Mifepristone)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Eric Lenze, Washington University Identifier:
First received: March 24, 2011
Last updated: March 19, 2014
Last verified: March 2014

This study seeks to develop and test a novel, mechanistic treatment for mitigating cognitive impairment in older adults with anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are common, severe, and disabling in older adults. One particularly impairing aspect of late-life anxiety disorders is cognitive impairment: impairments in memory and executive function cause disability, impede treatment response to psychotherapy, may lead to dementia, and are not corrected by standard anti-anxiety treatments.

This pilot study will test the glucocorticoid antagonist, mifepristone, for cognitive impairment in late-life anxiety disorders. Mifepristone blocks the effects of elevated cortisol levels on glucocorticoid receptors in the brain; it has been studied preliminarily in various neuropsychiatric disorders, such as psychotic depression and bipolar disorder, with well-documented safety and tolerability.

Condition Intervention Phase
Anxiety Disorders
Drug: Mifepristone
Phase 1
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Antiglucocorticoid Therapy for Cognitive Impairment in Late-life Anxiety Disorders

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Washington University School of Medicine:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Drug acceptability, as measured by self-reported side effects and number of dropouts [ Time Frame: Baseline, Week 2, Week 4 ]
  • Drug tolerability, as measured by self-reported side effects and drop-out rates [ Time Frame: Baseline, Week 2, Week 4 ]
  • Cognitive changes over time, as measured by between group and within-subjects comparison of neuropsychological measures. [ Time Frame: Baseline, Week 1, Week 4, Week 12 ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • anxiety and depressive symptoms [ Time Frame: baseline, week 1, week 2, week 4, week 12 ]
    self report symptoms of anxiety, worry, depression

Enrollment: 16
Study Start Date: September 2012
Study Completion Date: July 2013
Primary Completion Date: July 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: mifepristone
1 week mifepristone (followed by 3 weeks open label mifepristone)
Drug: Mifepristone
300mg per day, by mouth, for 21-28 days
Other Names:
  • Mifeprex
  • RU-486
Placebo Comparator: placebo
1 week placebo(followed by 3 weeks open label mifepristone)
Drug: Mifepristone
300mg per day, by mouth, for 21-28 days
Other Names:
  • Mifeprex
  • RU-486

Detailed Description:
Currently, no treatment exists to address cognitive impairment in late-life anxiety disorders. In this study, fifteen patients aged 60+ with an anxiety disorder (current or in partial remission) and subjective and/or objective evidence of cognitive impairment will receive treatment with mifepristone. At the baseline visit participants will be randomized to receive either mifepristone 300mg or a placebo daily for 7 days. Participants will be reassessed after 7 days (week 1 visit) of receiving study medication (mifepristone or placebo). At that time all participants will be provided mifepristone 300mg daily for the remaining 3 weeks of study treatment. The primary outcome measure will be neurocognition, as assessed by a battery of neuropsychological measures focusing on immediate and delayed memory and executive function (administered at baseline, week 1, week 4, and week 12). Saliva samples for cortisol measurement will be collected immediately following the baseline visit and week 4 visit. Secondary outcomes will be self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Ages Eligible for Study:   60 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age 65 and older
  • Non-demented by clinical evaluation
  • Current or partially remitted generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder
  • Currently taking antidepressant treatment with stable dose for at least 8 weeks
  • Memory impairment

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Mild to severe dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Current alcohol or substance abuse
  • Current or lifetime psychotic symptoms, bipolar disorder, or eating disorder
  • Untreated endocrinologic disease
  • Lifetime Cushing's or Addison's disease
  • Current cancer
  • History of metastatic cancer
  • Current use of systemic corticosteroids
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01333098

United States, Missouri
Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States, 63110
Sponsors and Collaborators
Eric Lenze
Principal Investigator: Eric J Lenze, MD Washington University School of Medicine
  More Information

Additional Information:
2012  This link exits the site

Responsible Party: Eric Lenze, Professor of Psychiatry, Washington University Identifier: NCT01333098     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 201011836
Study First Received: March 24, 2011
Last Updated: March 19, 2014

Keywords provided by Washington University School of Medicine:
older adult
Saint Louis
Non-dementia cognitive impairment in older adults with anxiety disorders.

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Anxiety Disorders
Cognition Disorders
Pathologic Processes
Mental Disorders
Neurocognitive Disorders
Abortifacient Agents, Steroidal
Abortifacient Agents
Reproductive Control Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic
Contraceptives, Oral
Contraceptive Agents, Female
Contraceptive Agents
Contraceptives, Postcoital, Synthetic
Contraceptives, Postcoital
Hormone Antagonists
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Luteolytic Agents
Menstruation-Inducing Agents processed this record on May 23, 2017