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Identifying Potential Effects of Liraglutide on Degenerative Changes

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: NCT01469351
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 10, 2011
Last Update Posted : April 19, 2013
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Aarhus

Tracking Information
First Submitted Date  ICMJE November 1, 2011
First Posted Date  ICMJE November 10, 2011
Last Update Posted Date April 19, 2013
Study Start Date  ICMJE January 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date April 2013   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Current Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: November 11, 2011)
PIB PET scan [ Time Frame: PIB PET-scan at baseline and after 26 weeks ]
Primarily to investigate whether 26 weeks of treatment with GLP-1 receptor liraglutide (Victoza ®) will change the intra-cerebral amyloid deposit in the CNS in patients with Alzheimer's disease assessed by PIB PET scan.
Original Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: November 7, 2011)
PIB PET scan [ Time Frame: PIB PET-scan at baseline and after 26 weeks ]
Primarily to investigate whether 26 weeks of treatment with GLP-1 receptor liraglutide (Victoza ®) will reduce the intra-cerebral amyloid deposit in the CNS in patients with Alzheimer's disease assessed by PIB PIB PET scan.
Change History
Current Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: November 7, 2011)
  • Neuro-psychological tests [ Time Frame: At baseline, after 12 weeks and after 26 weeks ]
    To validate the cognitive functions using specific neuro-psychological test battery before and after treatment with liraglutide/placebo.
  • FDG PET Scan [ Time Frame: FDG PET-scan at baseline and after 26 weeks ]
    To examine changes in glucose uptake in the CNS by FDG PET scan before and after 6 months of treatment with liraglutide/placebo
Original Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Same as current
Current Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Original Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Descriptive Information
Brief Title  ICMJE Identifying Potential Effects of Liraglutide on Degenerative Changes
Official Title  ICMJE Neurodegenerative Changes in Alzheimer's Disease: Identifying Potential Effects of Liraglutide on Degenerative Changes
Brief Summary

Today Alzheimers disease can not be cured. Animal experiments have shown that the hormone GLP-1 can improve memory in Alzheimer-prone mice.

The investigators hypothesis is that a 6-month treatment with the GLP-1 receptor stimulating drug liraglutide will reduce the intracerebral amyloid deposition in the central nervous system (CNS) in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and thereby reduce the clinical symptoms of the disease.

Detailed Description

The incidences of both type 2 diabetes (DM-2) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) have increased during the last years, resulting in an increase in morbidity and mortality. DM-2 is a risk factor for both AD and vascular dementia. In addition, an increased incidence of DM-2 in Alzheimer's patients has been observed. The understanding of the underlying mechanism behind this linkage is so far very sparse.

In both diseases premature cell degeneration develops. DM-2 is characterized by a loss of β-cell function and β cell mass in the pancreas, whereas AD shows a loss of neuronal function as well as neuronal cell death. General metabolic risk factors such as hyperglycemia and hypercholesterolemia are evident in both diseases.

Glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an incretin hormone with numerous documented effects on the glycaemic response. It is released as a response to food ingestion and consequently exerts a glucose-dependent stimulation of insulin secretion while inhibiting glucagon secretion. In animal experiments as well as cell experiments β-cell neogenesis, growth and differentiation are stimulated by GLP-1, and inhibition of β-cell apoptosis has been demonstrated in cell studies. In addition to α- and β-cells of the pancreas, GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1R) have been localized to the CNS, where GLP-1R are distributed corresponding to the hypothalamus and hippocampus. Experimental investigations on mice where GLP-1 was given intra-cerebroventricularly, GLP-1R stimulation reduced nerve cell damage caused by neurotoxic stimuli. Furthermore, GLP-1R stimulation in hippocampus induced learning ability and memory and it has been shown that GLP-1R stimulation leeds to neurite outgrowth and protects against nerve cell apoptosis.

In connection with hyperinsulinaemia in early stages of DM-2, studies suggest that stimulation of insulin receptors represented in the brain produce an increased level of β-amyloid and an increased number of neurofibrillary tangles. AD is pathologically characterized by an increased level of β-amyloid as well as an increased number of neurofibrillar tangles. Accumulation of β-amyloid in the brain is localized to areas with cognitive functions. A recent animal experimental work has shown reduced memory in GLP-1 receptor KO mice and mentions the lack of a possible neuroprotective effect as a potential explanation for the observation. In studies of humans a worsening of the cognitive functions has been shown to be associated with dementia and DM-2, even though an actual causal relation has not yet been found. The investigators have recently shown that GLP-1 has a neuroprotective function in patients with DM-2.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning has been well evaluated in clinical demonstration of CNS changes following AD including changes in amyloid deposits.

Presently there are no registered drugs which change the deposition of amyloid and there are no drugs with convincing effect on the progression of the disease in patients with Alzheimer's. Moreover the drugs which have been marketed for treatment have a disadvantageous side effect profile. Besides insulin, β-cells secrete amylin, amyloid or IAPP (islet amyloid polypeptide) and these thus share certain characteristics with β-amyloid. Previously IAPP was considered to be non-toxic but recent studies have indicated a possible conversion to toxic β-amyloid.

The insulin-producing β-cells have been found to be characterized by accumulation of amyloid in several DM-2 models. A recent study with treatment with DPP-4 inhibitors (increasing endogenous GLP-1) improved glucose tolerance, increased GLP-1 levels and normalized the topography of the islets of Langerhans in a mouse model with β cell specific over expression of human amyloid.

The investigators hypothesis is that a 26 week treatment with the GLP-1 receptor stimulating pharmaceutical liraglutide will reduce the intracerebral amyloid deposition in the CNS in patients with Alzheimer's disease, as demonstrated by PET.

The investigators aim is that this clinical study will be able to give new information about the effect of the GLP-1 axis in the CNS and explore the potential for treatment of large groups of patients who cannot be offered effective drugs today. Altogether the results from the studies will contribute to the development of future treatment options for AD.

Study Type  ICMJE Interventional
Study Phase  ICMJE Not Applicable
Study Design  ICMJE Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Condition  ICMJE Alzheimers Disease
Intervention  ICMJE
  • Drug: Liraglutide

    Liraglutide (Victoza ®), human GLP-1 analog produced using recombinant DNA technology in saccharomyces cerevisiae. Victoza ® is registered and approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

    Victoza ® stimulates glucose-dependent insulin secretion from β-cells and inhibits glucagon secretion, slows ventricle emptying and reduces body weight and body fat mass by affecting appetite regulation.

    Form of administration: Liraglutide is a clear injection fluid, which comes in a prefilled disposable pen.

    1 ml contains 6 mg of liraglutide in sterile water. There is added disodium phosphate and propylene glycol and the preservative phenol. A filled pen contains 18mg liraglutide in 3ml. NovoFine® needles are used.

  • Drug: non-active study drug
Study Arms  ICMJE
  • Active Comparator: Drug
    the GLP-1 receptor analog liraglutide is the active drug. The dose is 1.8mg daily
    Intervention: Drug: Liraglutide
  • Placebo Comparator: placebo
    non active intervention
    Intervention: Drug: non-active study drug
Publications *

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Recruitment Information
Recruitment Status  ICMJE Completed
Actual Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: April 18, 2013)
Original Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: November 7, 2011)
Actual Study Completion Date  ICMJE April 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date April 2013   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Eligibility Criteria  ICMJE

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Informed consent before study-related activity
  • Adult competent persons
  • Diagnosed with diagnosed Alzheimer's disease. With a MMSE score between 18-21 the diagnosis should be entirely based on the clinic, while diagnosis by MMSE with a score > 22 should be diagnosed by spinal puncture
  • Age ≥ 50 years and ≤ 80 years
  • Caucasians

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Clinically significant liver (s-ALT > 2 times upper reference or creatinine-clearance < 30 mL / min, assessed on Cockcroft-Gault normogram)
  • Clinically significant anemia
  • Other clinically relevant abnormal biochemical value
  • Current or former presence of one of the following diseases with clinical relevance:

    1. another CNS-illness other than diagnosed depression treated with SSRI or SSRI similar drugs.
    2. liver disease
    3. kidney disease
    4. endocrinological disease other than well controlled hypothyroidism
  • Current or history of chronic or acute pancreatitis
  • Any disease which the investigators believe may affect the study
  • Patients treated with TCA or neuroleptics
  • Known abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Known allergy to liraglutide or any of the other components (disodium phosphate dihydrate, propylene glycol and phenol)
  • Participation in a clinical trial less than 3 months before inclusion in this study
  • Persons who within a period of the last 2 years have participated in scientific experiments involving the use of isotopes, or who have had greater diagnostic tests performed using applied ionizing radiation
  • If patients are treated with SSRI or SSRI similar drugs or antihypertensives this treatment should be stable
  • Claustrophobia or other missing cooperation
  • Severe overweight > 130kg
  • Ferro-magnetic prosthesis, pacemaker or other metals incorporated in the body
  • Significant abnormities in the brain detected by MR scanning
Sex/Gender  ICMJE
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Ages  ICMJE 50 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Accepts Healthy Volunteers  ICMJE No
Contacts  ICMJE Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Listed Location Countries  ICMJE Denmark
Removed Location Countries  
Administrative Information
NCT Number  ICMJE NCT01469351
Other Study ID Numbers  ICMJE 2011-000794-31
Has Data Monitoring Committee Yes
U.S. FDA-regulated Product Not Provided
IPD Sharing Statement  ICMJE Not Provided
Responsible Party University of Aarhus
Study Sponsor  ICMJE University of Aarhus
Collaborators  ICMJE Not Provided
Investigators  ICMJE
Principal Investigator: Birgitte Brock, MD phD University of Aarhus
PRS Account University of Aarhus
Verification Date April 2013

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP