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Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease With CR Plus tDCS in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Depression (PACt-MD) (PACt-MD)

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.
 
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02386670
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : March 12, 2015
Last Update Posted : July 7, 2020
Sponsor:
Collaborators:
Brain Canada
Applied Health Research Centre
Queen's University
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
University Health Network, Toronto
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Benoit Mulsant, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Brief Summary:
This 5-year randomized controlled trial will compare the efficacy of non-invasive brain stimulation (trans-cranial Direct Current Stimulation - tDCS) combined with cognitive remediation (CR) versus sham ("placebo") tDCS combined with sham ("placebo") CR in slowing down cognitive decline and preventing Alzheimer's Dementia in older persons with mild cognitive impairment or major depressive disorder with or without mild cognitive impairment.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Mild Cognitive Impairment Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, In Remission Major Depressive Disorder, Single Episode, in Full Remission Other: tDCS + CR Other: sham tDCS + sham CR Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

By the time Alzheimer's Dementia (AD) and related disorders (ADRD) are diagnosed the brain has sustained substantial insult that limits the efficacy of current treatments. Preventive interventions are urgently needed but prevention studies require large numbers of participants and long follow-up periods unless they can target a high-risk population.

The investigators propose to study the efficacy of a preventive intervention for AD in three high risk groups: (1) older persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI); (2) older persons with a major depressive disorder (MDD) without MCI; and (3) older persons with MDD and MCI.

MCI is considered a prodromal condition for dementia with a progression rate of about 1% per month. MDD has independently been identified as one of the most promising targets for AD prevention studies since, even after successful treatment of their depressive episode, older persons with remitted MDD develop MCI or dementia at a rate of 1-2% per month.

The investigators proposed intervention is a combination of cognitive remediation (CR) and non-invasive brain stimulation - transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Participants with MCI or MDD (with or without MCI) will be randomized to tDCS + CR or sham ("palcebo") tDCS + sham ("placebo") CR. Both CR and tDCS have been shown to induce neuroplasticity and improve cognition. The investigators hypothesize that their combination will enhance cognitive reserve and protect against cognitive decline and the onset of MCI in those with "normal" cognition or AD in those with MCI.

The investigators design is informed by their experience conducting randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in older participants with dementia, MCI, or MDD over more than two decades. In the investigators recent donepezil prevention trial, combining donepezil with standard antidepressant maintenance prevented cognitive decline and the incidence of dementia in participants who had had both MDD and MCI. Building on this prevention trial, the investigators conceptualize the proposed study as a high-risk, high-gain RCT aimed at enhancing cognitive reserve and preventing cognitive decline and dementia in a high risk population. If the investigators are successful in this high risk population, then tDCS + CR can be tested in, and extended to, the general population (i.e., for universal prevention) or other groups at high risk for AD (i.e., for selective or indicated prevention).

Five Toronto academic sites with a history of successful collaboration will consent up to a total of 500 participants meeting criteria for MCI (age 60 and older) or MDD (age 65 and older) to reach a target of 375 enrolled participants initiating the study intervention. Participants will be randomized to either: i) tDCS + CR or ii) sham tDCS + sham CR. They will first receive tDCS + CR (or sham + sham) 5 days a week for 8 weeks, followed by home-based CR (or sham) and booster sessions of tDCS + CR (or sham + sham) for 5 days every 6 months until they develop dementia (or MCI for those who are deemed cognitively intact at baseline) or complete the study.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 375 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Prevention of Alzheimer's Dimentia With Cognitive Remediation Plus Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Depression
Actual Study Start Date : January 2015
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 2022
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2022

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: tDCS + CR
Intervention sessions are administered 5 days/week for 8 weeks (induction phase). Then, for 5 days every 6 months (consolidation phase).Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) session: anode over Fz & cathode over Iz; direct current: 2 mA (current density=0.57A/m2) for 30 minutes/session at the beginning of each group session. Cognitive Remediation (CR) will also be administered. Sessions last 2 hours each day in a group supervised by trained interventionists. Participants also complete CR exercises online at home. CR consists of computer-based exercises relevant to attention, processing speed, executive function, and verbal and working memory with titrated difficulty levels. Performance feedback will reinforce progress. "Strategic monitoring and bridging discussions" promotes transfer of cognitive gains to everyday tasks.
Other: tDCS + CR

First, the intervention sessions will be administered 5 days/week for 8 weeks (induction phase). Then, for 5 days once every 6 months (consolidation phase).

tDCS session: anode over Fz & cathode over Iz; direct current: 2 mA (current density=0.57A/m2) for 30 min. at the beginning of each group session.

Cognitive Remediation (CR) will also be administered. Sessions last 2 hours each day in a group supervised by trained interventionists. Participants will also complete CR exercises online at home. CR will consist of computer-based exercises relevant to attention, processing speed, executive function, and verbal and working memory with titrated difficulty levels. Performance feedback will reinforce progress. "Strategic monitoring and bridging discussions" will promote transfer of cognitive gains to everyday tasks.

Other Names:
  • transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)
  • Cognitive Remediation (CR)

Sham Comparator: sham tDCS + sham CR

First, the intervention sessions will be administered 5 days/week for 8 weeks (induction phase). Then, for 5 days once every 6 months (consolidation phase).

tDCS session: anode over Fz & cathode over Iz; direct current: 2 mA (current density=0.57A/m2) for 1 minute, then the current will be 0 mA for 29 minutes at the beginning of each group session.

Cognitive Remediation (CR) will also be administered. Sessions last 2 hours each day in a group supervised by trained interventionists. Participants will also complete CR exercises online at home. CR will consist of computer-based exercises relevant to attention, processing speed, executive function, and verbal and working memory without titrated difficulty levels.

Other: sham tDCS + sham CR

First, the intervention sessions will be administered 5 days/week for 8 weeks (induction phase). Then, for 5 days once every 6 months (consolidation phase).

tDCS session: anode over Fz & cathode over Iz; direct current: 2 mA (current density=0.57A/m2) for 1 minute, then the current will be 0 mA for 29 minutes at the beginning of each group session.

Cognitive Remediation (CR) will also be administered. Sessions last 2 hours each day in a group supervised by trained interventionists. Participants will also complete CR exercises online at home. CR will consist of computer-based exercises relevant to attention, processing speed, executive function, and verbal and working memory without titrated difficulty levels.





Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in cognitive scores over time [ Time Frame: Approximately 4, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months after baseline ]
    Z-scores for 18 measures of 12 selected cognitive tests will be calculated based on an healthy comparison group; based on these measures, in turn, z-scores will be averaged into six z-scores for six cognitive domains (executive functioning, language, speed of processing, verbal memory, visual memory, and working memory); finally, the six domain z-scores will be averaged into a composite cognitive score, the change of which is the study primary outcome measure that will be used for H1 and H3.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Percentage of subjects who remain free of MCI or dementia over time [ Time Frame: Approximately 4, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months after baseline ]


Information from the National Library of Medicine

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, Learn About Clinical Studies.


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

MCI Group

Inclusion:

  • Age > 60 (on day of randomization)
  • DSM 5 criteria for Mild Neurocognitive Disorder ("MCI")
  • Willingness to provide informed consent
  • MADRS score of 10 or below
  • Availability of a study partner who has regular contact with the participant
  • Ability to read and communicate in English (with corrected vision and hearing, if needed)

Exclusion:

  • Met DSM 5 criteria for Major Depressive Episode in past 10 years
  • Lifetime DSM 5 diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or OCD
  • DSM 5 diagnosis of alcohol or other substances use disorder within the past 12 months
  • High risk for suicide
  • Significant neurological condition (e.g., stroke, seizure disorder, MS)
  • Unstable medical illness, (e.g., uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or hypertension)
  • Having taken a cognitive enhancer (acetylcholinesterase inhibitor or memantine) within the past 6 weeks.
  • Participants taking anticonvulsants, and other psychotropic medication (see exceptions below) that cannot be safely tapered and discontinued. The following psychotropic medications are allowed: i) any antidepressant; ii) zopiclone, trazadone, or a benzodiazepine if they have been taken at a stable dose for at least 4 weeks prior to study entry and; iii) gabapentin and pregabalin if they have been taken at a stable dose for at least 4 weeks prior to study entry AND if prescribed for chronic pain.
  • A pace-maker or other metal implants that would preclude safe use of tDCS.

MDD Group

Inclusion:

  • Age ≥ 65 (on day of randomization)
  • Meets DSM 5 criteria for one or more MDE(s)with:

    1. an offset of 2 months to 5 years from the screening visit date. It is not necessary for this (these) episode(s) to have received medical attention OR
    2. an offset of 5 years or more from the screening visit date. It is necessary that at least one MDE received medical attention (e.g., previously been on one or more antidepressant(s), saw a psychiatrist, primary care physician, or had a previous hospitalization). Also, the MDE must have occurred during the participant's adult life (i.e., at 18 years of age or older).
  • MADRS score of 10 or below
  • Willingness to provide informed consent
  • Availability of a study partner who has regular contact with the participant
  • Ability to read and communicate in English (with corrected vision and hearing, if needed)

Exclusion:

  • Meets DSM 5 criteria for Major Neurocognitive Disorder ("dementia")
  • Lifetime DSM 5 diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or OCD
  • DSM 5 diagnosis of alcohol or other substances use disorder within the past 12 months.
  • High risk for suicide.
  • Significant neurological condition (e.g., stroke, seizure disorder, MS)
  • Unstable medical illness (e.g., uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or hypertension)
  • Participants taking anticonvulsants, and other psychotropic medication (see exception below) that cannot be safely tapered and discontinued. In addition to any antidepressant, the following psychotropic medications are allowed if they have been taken at a stable dose for at least 4 weeks prior to study entry: zopiclone, trazodone, or a benzodiazepine; and gabapentin or pregabalin if prescribed for chronic pain.
  • Having taken a cognitive enhancer (acetylcholinesterase inhibitor or memantine) within the past 6 weeks.
  • A pace-maker or other metal implants that would preclude safe use of tDCS.
  • Received electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) within 6 months of baseline neruopsychological testing.

Control group

Inclusion:

  • Age > 60
  • MADRS score of 10 or below
  • Willingness to provide informed consent
  • Ability to read and communicate in English (with corrected vision and hearing, if needed)

Exclusion:

  • Meets DSM 5 criteria for Minor or Major Neurocognitive Disorder
  • Any other lifetime DSM 5 diagnosis except for simple/specific phobias
  • Significant neurological condition (e.g., stroke, seizure disorder, MS)
  • Unstable medical illness, (e.g., uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or hypertension)
  • Participants taking anticonvulsants, and other psychotropic medication (see exception below) that cannot be safely tapered and discontinued. The following psychotropic medications are allowed if they have been taken at a stable dose for at least 4 weeks: zopiclone up to 15 mg/day; trazadone up to 150 mg/day; benzodiazepine at a dose of up to 3 mg/day lorazepam-equivalents; gabapentin and pregabalin (if prescribed for pain).
  • A pace-maker or other metal implants
  • Neuropsychological testing within the past 12 months

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): NCT02386670


Locations
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Canada, Ontario
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
St. Michael's Hospital
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sunnybrook Heath Sciences Centre
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
University Health Network
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sponsors and Collaborators
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Brain Canada
Applied Health Research Centre
Queen's University
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
University Health Network, Toronto
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Benoit H Mulsant, MD Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: Benoit Mulsant, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02386670    
Other Study ID Numbers: 041-2014
First Posted: March 12, 2015    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 7, 2020
Last Verified: July 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Disease
Depression
Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder, Major
Cognitive Dysfunction
Pathologic Processes
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders
Cognition Disorders
Neurocognitive Disorders