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Study and Treatment of Visual Dysfunction and Motor Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02391961
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 18, 2015
Results First Posted : September 4, 2020
Last Update Posted : September 4, 2020
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development

Brief Summary:
Primary fatigue represents a major cause of disability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), being reported in about 90% of cases. Fatigue interferes with everyday functioning but, unfortunately, little is known about its mechanisms. The investigators propose a characteristic eye movement abnormality (internuclear ophthalmoparesis, INO), commonly encountered in MS, as a simple model for primary motor fatigue. The investigators described worsening of ocular performance in MS patients with INO following visual tasks (ocular motor fatigue), which is likely due to decreased neural conduction along brain pathways injured by MS. This mechanism could represent a major component of MS-related primary motor fatigue. Relevant to Veterans' care, INO is a significant cause of visual disability, especially when complicated by ocular fatigue, and limits daily activities such as reading and driving. The investigators propose a medical treatment to improve ocular performance/fatigue in INO, which can reduce visual disability and improve quality of life in Veterans with MS.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Multiple Sclerosis Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia Fatigue Drug: Dalfampridine Drug: Placebo Phase 2

Detailed Description:

This project focuses on fatigue, an extremely common yet poorly understood complaint in patients affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). Primary fatigue, that is fatigue not secondary to other MS-associated symptoms (e.g., sleep disorder or depression), is a distinct clinical entity and a cause of severe disability in most patients. As fatigue limits everyday activities and interferes with exercise-based rehabilitation, understanding its mechanisms is crucial to improving function and quality of life of Veterans with MS. Primary fatigue is divided in two broad categories, mental (cognitive) and physical (motor) fatigue, the latter being the focus of this proposal. Evidence suggests that primary motor fatigue originates within the central nervous system (CNS) but, although several factors have been invoked (e.g., demyelination, axonal loss, inflammation), a neurophysiological model to explain its underlying mechanisms is still lacking.

First, with this project, the investigators propose a characteristic eye movement abnormality, internuclear ophthalmoparesis (INO), as a simple and accessible model for primary motor fatigue in MS. INO is a disorder of binocular coordination (conjugacy), in which fast eye movements (saccades) of the adducting eye (i.e., the eye moving towards the nose) are slow during horizontal gaze shifts, due to demyelination of a specific CNS pathway (the medial longitudinal fasciculus, MLF). Preliminary results in a small MS group of patients show that patients with INO exhibit changes in ocular conjugacy (i.e., ocular motor fatigue) during a 10-minute saccadic fatigue test, but normal subjects do not. The investigators hypothesize that ocular motor fatigue is representative of a major component of primary motor fatigue in MS, as it likely reflects deterioration of neural conduction fidelity along the demyelinated MLF axons. The investigators aim at showing that ocular motor fatigue occurs in a larger MS population with INO by measuring changes of binocular conjugacy on eye movement recordings using two main measures: 1) abducting/adducting eye ratio for saccadic peak velocity (pulse size ratio); 2) time difference in occurrence of peak acceleration in the adducting vs. the abducting eye (pulse time delay), during the 10-minute fatigue test. The investigators will determine whether ocular motor fatigue is associated with symptomatic subjective fatigue as assessed with standard fatigue questionnaires. Second, The investigators intend to test efficacy of dalfampridine, a potassium channel blocker that enhances neural conduction along demyelinated axons, in MS patients with INO with or without associated ocular motor fatigue. Visual dysfunction in MS patients with INO is a major cause of disability as they are severely limited in daily activities such as driving and can suffer further disability when developing ocular motor fatigue during a sustained visual task (e.g., reading). However, no medical therapy is available for INO/ocular motor fatigue. Preliminary results document improved binocular conjugacy in three MS patients taking dalfampridine for gait impairment (the FDA-approved indication for this medication). These data also showed improvement of ocular motor fatigue after dalfampridine in one patient. The investigators hypothesize that dalfampridine improves visual performance in MS patients with INO and counteracts ocular motor fatigue and, in turn, diminishes visual disability and improves quality of life. Thus, the investigators will conduct a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover trial of dalfampridine (10mg twice a day) of 10 weeks duration. Before and after treatment, the investigators will assess for changes in binocular conjugacy by eye movement measures as above, as well as changes in clinical measures, such as reading acuity and speed, saccades performance, gait performance, symptomatic fatigue, visual disability and quality of life. the investigators will determine whether improvement of visual performance has positive effects on overall disability and quality of life of MS patients with INO. The investigators will also determine whether there is an association between response of eye movement and gait performances to dalfampridine.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 23 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Study and Treatment of Visual Dysfunction and Motor Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis
Actual Study Start Date : April 1, 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 31, 2019
Actual Study Completion Date : March 31, 2019

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: dalfampridine
10-week randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind, crossover trial, which includes a period of wash out of two weeks between treatment with dalfampridine and placebo. Within the trial, each patient serves as his own control.
Drug: Dalfampridine
10-week randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind, crossover trial, which includes a period of wash out of two weeks between treatment with dalfampridine and placebo.

Placebo Comparator: placebo
10-week randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind, crossover trial, which includes a period of wash out of two weeks between treatment with dalfampridine and placebo. Within the trial, each patient serves as his own control.
Drug: Placebo
10-week randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind, crossover trial, which includes a period of wash out of two weeks between treatment with dalfampridine and placebo.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Pulse Size Ratio (PSR): Abducting/Adducting Eye Ratio for Saccadic Peak Velocity. [ Time Frame: Average PSR values were taken on day of visit 2 (after 4 weeks) and on day of visit 4 (after 10 weeks), on each visit before (baseline) and three hours after taking the study pill. ]
    For each saccade made by the subject, the ratio of the maximum velocity (deg/sec) of the eye moving away from the nose and of the eye moving towards the nose was calculated. Subjects' horizontal saccades were recorded for 10 minutes, and an average of PSR for all saccades recorded was taken.

  2. Pulse Time Delay (PTD): Time Difference Between Onset of the Saccade in the Adducting Eye and Onset of the Saccade in the Abducting Eye. [ Time Frame: Average PTD values were taken on day of visit 2 (after 4 weeks) and on day of visit 4 (after 10 weeks), on each visit before (baseline) and three hours after taking the study pill. ]
    For each saccade made by the subject, we calculated the difference (in sec) between the onset (based on a velocity threshold) of the movement in the adducting eye (the eye moving towards the nose) and the onset of the movement in the abducting eye (the eye moving away from the nose). Subjects' horizontal saccades were recorded for 10 minutes, and an average of PTD for all saccades recorded was taken.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Reading Acuity (RA) [ Time Frame: Average RA values were taken on day of visit 2 (after 4 weeks) and on day of visit 4 (after 10 weeks), on each visit before (baseline) and three hours after taking the study pill. ]
    MNREAD acuity charts for reading acuity (RA)

  2. Maximum Reading Speed (MRS) [ Time Frame: Average MRS values were taken on day of visit 2 (after 4 weeks) and on day of visit 4 (after 10 weeks), on each visit before (baseline) and three hours after taking the study pill. ]
    MNREAD acuity charts for reading speed (maximum reading speed, MRS)

  3. Gait Assessment [ Time Frame: Measures were taken on day of visit 2 (after 4 weeks) and on day of visit 4 (after 10 weeks), on each visit before (baseline) and three hours after taking the study pill. ]
    25-foot Walk Test (FWT)

  4. National Eye Institute (NEI) Visual Function Questionnaire 25 (VFQ-25) [ Time Frame: VFQ25 was administered on day of visit 2 (after 4 weeks) and on day of visit 4 (after 10 weeks). ]
    We used a validated questionnaire to assess visual disability, the National Eye Institute (NEI) Visual Function Questionnaire 25. Min value 0; Max value 100; Higher scores mean a better outcome.

  5. 10-Item Neuro-Ophthalmic Supplement (NOS) [ Time Frame: 10-Item NOS was administered on day of visit 2 (after 4 weeks) and on day of visit 4 (after 10 weeks). ]
    We used a validated questionnaire to assess visual disability, the 10-Item Neuro-Ophthalmic Supplement. Min value 0; Max value 100; Higher scores mean a better outcome.



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:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of MS of any course and duration
  • Evidence of mild to moderate internuclear ophthalmoparesis (INO), that is slowing of the adducting eye on physical examination of saccadic speed, whether INO is unilateral or bilateral, symmetrical or asymmetrical
  • Medically stable conditions, ability to give informed consent and understand and cooperate with the testing
  • Dalfampridine-naive as well as history of taking dalfampridine in the past, whether there was benefit in gait impairment or not, after a washout period of at least 2 weeks

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Lack of evidence of INO (slowing of the adducting eye) on physical examination of saccadic speed
  • Severe INO (i.e., exotropia in primary gaze) on physical examination
  • Medically unstable conditions, inability to give informed consent and understand and cooperate with the testing
  • History of side effects from dalfampridine
  • History of seizures
  • Moderate or severe renal failure, assessed by clearance of creatinine

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): NCT02391961


Locations
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United States, Ohio
Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH
Cleveland, Ohio, United States, 44106
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Alessandro Serra, MD PhD Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by VA Office of Research and Development:
Publications:
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Responsible Party: VA Office of Research and Development
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02391961    
Other Study ID Numbers: F1180-W
1IK2RX001180-01A2 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: March 18, 2015    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: September 4, 2020
Last Update Posted: September 4, 2020
Last Verified: September 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Multiple Sclerosis
Ophthalmoplegia
Vision Disorders
Ocular Motility Disorders
Sclerosis
Fatigue
Pathologic Processes
Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System
Nervous System Diseases
Demyelinating Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Cranial Nerve Diseases
Paralysis
Neurologic Manifestations
Eye Diseases
Sensation Disorders
Central Nervous System Diseases
4-Aminopyridine
Potassium Channel Blockers
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action