Clinical Trial of Creatine in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) Identifier:
First received: June 1, 2000
Last updated: June 23, 2005
Last verified: December 2003

The objective of this study is to determine whether creatine slows disease progression in subjects with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a progressive uniformly lethal neurodegenerative disorder for which there is no known cure. Recent genetic and biochemical studies implicate free radical toxicity, glutamate excitotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction as possible causes of familial ALS (FALS) and sporadic ALS (SALS). It has been hypothesized that in ALS there may be involvement of oxidative free radical damage and impaired mitochondrial energy metabolism that could in turn lead to excitotoxic cell death. Creatine, an agent that improves mitochondrial function, has been shown to be neuroprotective in animal models of ALS and Huntington's disease.

This study is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the safety and efficacy of creatine in patients with ALS enrolled at sites distributed throughout the United States, including Northeast ALS (NEALS) sites. The study will provide preliminary data on the safety and efficacy of creatine in ALS. If creatine slows disease progression in ALS and is well tolerated, a phase 3 study with survival as the primary outcome measure will be initiated.

114 eligible subjects will be randomized to receive treatment for 6 months of (1) active creatine or (2) placebo. After randomization, subjects will be followed prospectively for 6 months. The primary outcome measure for the study is the change in upper extremity motor function after 6 months of experimental therapy as tested with the Tufts Quantitative Neuromuscular Exam. Strength in eight arm muscles will be measured (bilateral shoulder and elbow flexion and extension). Secondary outcome measures include grip strength, motor unit number estimates (MUNE), the ALS functional rating score-revised (ALSFRS-R), and rate of change of a well established biochemical marker of oxidative damage to DNA (8OH2'dG levels in urine), and the safety and tolerability of creatine.

Condition Intervention Phase
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Drug: Creatinine
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Masking: Double-Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Center for Research Resources (NCRR):


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 80 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • ALS
  • FVC >=50%
  • Abnormality in upper and/or lower extremity motor function
  • Not pregnant
  • Disease duration <5 years
  Contacts and Locations
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, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00005766

United States, Vermont
University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont, United States, 05401
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
  More Information

No publications provided Identifier: NCT00005766     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: NCRR-M01RR00109-0750, M01RR00109
Study First Received: June 1, 2000
Last Updated: June 23, 2005
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Center for Research Resources (NCRR):

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Motor Neuron Disease
Central Nervous System Diseases
Metabolic Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Pathologic Processes
Proteostasis Deficiencies
Spinal Cord Diseases
TDP-43 Proteinopathies processed this record on December 01, 2015