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1-Octanol to Treat Essential Tremor

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: NCT00001986
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 10, 2002
Last Update Posted : March 4, 2008
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Brief Summary:

This study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the food additive 1-octanol for treating essential tremor. This disorder, which is an involuntary shaking, usually of the hands, has no satisfactory treatment. It affects more than one of every 100 people in the general population, with the figure climbing to nearly 4 in every hundred among people over 40 years old. In animal studies, 1-octanol reduced chemically induced tremors in rats. This study will test the effects of the accepted daily intake of 1-octanol (1 milligram per kilogram of body weight) on essential tremor in humans.

Patients with essential tremor 21 years old and older who wish to enroll in this study will undergo eligibility screening with a medical history and physical examination that includes tests for thyroid, liver and kidney problems. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either 1-octanol or a placebo (an inactive substance). Patients in both groups will have an intravenous catheter (a thin, plastic tube) placed in an arm vein for collecting blood samples during the study. Those in the 1-octanol group will be given a 1-octanol capsule; the placebo group will receive a look-alike capsule containing no active ingredient. Neither the patient nor the doctor will know which patients are taking 1-octanol or placebo until the end of the study.

Tremors will be measured once before the catheter is placed, every 15 minutes during the first 2 hours after taking the capsule, twice during the third hour (30 minutes apart), and once again after 5 hours. The tremors are measured using procedures called accelerometry and surface electromyography. For these procedures, electrodes are taped to the skin; needles are not used. Blood samples will be collected once before taking the capsule, every 15 minutes for the first hour and a half after taking the capsule and again at 2 hours, 4 hours and 5 hours after taking the capsule. Vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate) will be measured every 15 minutes during the first 2 hours of taking the capsule, every 30 minutes during the third hour, and again at 4 hours and 5 hours.

Participants will stay in the hospital overnight for observation and return after 3 days for a follow-up physical examination, including a blood test.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Essential Tremor Drug: 1-Octanol Phase 1

Detailed Description:
Essential tremor (ET) is the most common movement disorder; however, there is currently no satisfactory drug treatment. The neural mechanisms underlying ET remain unknown. One of the prevalent hypotheses is that ET is a result of a defective mechanism that normally dampens the natural oscillations of inferior olive (IO) neurons whose intrinsic oscillatory activity is attributed to the presence of low threshold calcium channels (LTCC). 1-Octanol is known to inhibit LTCC of olivary neurons and was found to reduce the tremor induced in rats with harmaline, an alkaloid known to hyperpolarize IO neurons increasing their tendency to fire rhythmically at rest. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of 1-octanol on ET in humans. This study is designed as a double-blind, placebo-controlled, single-dose trial in untreated patients with ET. Electromyography (EMG) and acclerometry are used to assess tremor before and after 1-octanol administration. The accepted daily intake (ADI) of 1-octanol (1 mg/kg/d) as a food additive will be given as a single dose. Toxicity from octanol will be monitored clinically and by liver function and electrolyte measurements.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 12 participants
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Single-Dose Trial of 1-Octanol in Essential Tremor
Study Start Date : January 2000
Study Completion Date : January 2001

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Patients with essential tremor affecting the upper limbs who are 21 years of age or older.

Patients who are not taking medications for essential tremor or any other medical condition for at least 2 weeks.

Patients who have not consumed alcohol or cold medications containing alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to the day of the study.

Women must not be pregnant or lactating. Women of childbearing age must use birth control while participating in this study.

Patients must not have any neurological disease other than tremor (e.g., Parkinson's disease).

Patients must not have evidence of thyroid, liver, kidney or chronic lung disease.

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): NCT00001986

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United States, Maryland
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00001986    
Other Study ID Numbers: 000062
First Posted: December 10, 2002    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 4, 2008
Last Verified: January 2000
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Essential Tremor
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Movement Disorders
Central Nervous System Diseases