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Immune Restoration by Lipoic Acid in AIDS

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Identifier:
First received: April 8, 2002
Last updated: August 17, 2006
Last verified: July 2006
The purpose of this study is to determine the immunomodulatory and antiviral effects of the glutathione-restoring dithiol, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) in HIV-infected persons unresponsive to highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART).

Condition Intervention Phase
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome HIV Infections Drug: Alpha Lipoic Acid Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Immune Restoration by Lipoic Acid in AIDS

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

Estimated Enrollment: 33
Study Start Date: February 2002
Estimated Study Completion Date: August 2004
Detailed Description:

AIDS is characterized by infection with HIV which leads to collapse of the immune system. Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has contributed significantly to lowering morbidity and mortality from AIDS, antiretroviral drugs do not fully restore the immune system and patients often fail multi-drug treatment. Hence, there is a need for alternative/complementary medicine (CAM) that can restore an immune system ravaged by HIV/AIDS. To address this need, investigators have formed a multidisciplinary collaboration to evaluate and demonstrate utility of natural immune-based modulators in ethnically diverse patients with HIV/AIDS. The long-term goal of this proposal is to develop a CAM therapy to facilitate immune reconstitution and HIV eradication following cessation of antiretroviral treatment or concurrent with continued antiretroviral treatment. It is based on the premise of a widespread deficiency of glutathione (GSH), vital to lymphocyte function, in patients with HIV/AIDS. The proposed project will study the immunomodulatory and antiretroviral effects of a dietary antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), which is known to efficiently boost systemic GSH.

In this study, HIV-infected adults unresponsive to HAART (i.e. those with persistent CD4+ count > 50 cells/mm3, viral load> 10,000 copies/cc) will be randomized into a treatment or a control arm. The treatment group will be given 300 mg ALA thrice daily for 6 months and the control group will receive inert placebo. Studies performed at baseline and at 2,4, and 6 months will include estimation of CD4+ count, HIV RNA, T-cell reactivity in vitro and whole blood GSH level. Significance of changes from baseline parameters will be analyzed by t-tests. The proposed research will show whether GSH augmentation by ALA increases CD4+ cell number and T cell function and reduces viral load in subjects unresponsive to antiretroviral therapy.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • HIV-positive status
  • HAART non-responsiveness as defined by 1) previous experience with at least 2 different protease inhibitors plus nucleoside analogs; 2) viral load of >10,000 copies/cc and CD4+ cell count >50 x 1000 cells/liter at time of enrollment

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diabetic patients
  • Pregnant women
  • Asthmatic patients
  • Severely thiamine-deficient persons (e.g. alcoholics and those with polyneuritis)
  • History of supplementing on excessive amounts of N-acetylcysteine, glutathione or other antioxidant supplements, during the 2 months prior to study entry.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00033176

United States, California
Quest Clinical Research
San Francisco, California, United States, 94115
Eye Clinic, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
San Jose, California, United States, 95128
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Raxit J. Jariwalla, PhD California Institute for Medical Research
OverallOfficial: Abha Kumar, MD Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
OverallOfficial: Jay Lalezari, MD Quest Clinical Research
  More Information Identifier: NCT00033176     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R21AT000246-01A2 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: April 8, 2002
Last Updated: August 17, 2006

Keywords provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):
complementary therapies
Immune restoration
HIV infection
HAART non-responsiveness
glutathione restoration
lipoic acid

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
HIV Infections
Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Lentivirus Infections
Retroviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Slow Virus Diseases
Thioctic Acid
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Protective Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Vitamin B Complex
Growth Substances processed this record on September 21, 2017