Sertraline for the Treatment of Patients With Frontal Lobe Dementia (FLD)

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: NCT00001777
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:

Dementia refers to a condition where there is a loss of intellectual function (cognition). It is usually a progressive condition that interferes with normal social and occupational activities.

Patients with frontal lobe dementia (FLD) suffer from a destruction of the brain cells found in the frontal lobe of the brain. Loss of frontal lobe neurons can cause changes in personality, such as aggressiveness, agitation, and depression. In addition, patients with FLD may have difficulty planning tasks and may have a loss of motivation.

Researchers believe that the cells lost in the frontal lobe of the brain are responsible for producing a chemical called serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, which means it is used by neurons to communicate with other neurons. Researchers are inclined to believe that by replacing the missing serotonin, symptoms of FLD may be relieved.

Drugs known as serotonin uptake inhibitors, help to maintain high levels of serotonin in the body. They have been used successfully to treat patients with depression and patients with violent / impulsive behaviors. Sertraline is a serotonin reuptake blocker that is relatively easy to give (once daily), is safer than most other serotonin reuptake blockers (very little effect on vital enzyme systems [cytochrome P-450]), and has few interactions with other drugs.

This study is designed to test the effectiveness of Sertraline for the treatment of symptoms associated with FLD. Patients participating in the study will receive Sertraline for 6 weeks and a placebo "inactive sugar pill" for 6 weeks. During the study, researchers will test psychological and neurological functions to measure the effects of the drug.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Dementia Drug: Sertraline Phase 1

Detailed Description:
Degeneration of frontal serotonin-containing neurons occurs in frontal lobe dementia (FLD). The associated loss of serotonin transmission may contribute to the frontal lobe dysfunction associated with this disorder. FLD patients will undergo a controlled clinical trial of an orally administered serotonergic agent (Sertraline) which acts centrally to selectively block serotonin uptake to treat patients' cognitive and behavioral frontal dysfunction. Study subjects will be evaluated at regular intervals with a battery of neuropsychological and behavioral tests designed to assess frontal and other cognitive functions. In addition, compliance and levels of the medication will be measured in the blood and when possible in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 30 participants
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Controlled, Randomized, Double-Blind Trial of Sertraline in Patients With Frontal Lobe Dementia (FLD)
Study Start Date : December 1997
Study Completion Date : May 2000

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Dementia

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

Characterized as having behavioral manifestations using a standardized neuropsychiatric scale and interview.

FLD patients' frontal cognitive sysfunctions characterized using a short neurobehavioral test battery.

Patients must be able to be tested and cooperative with the procedures required in this protocol.

No contraindications to the use of Sertraline.

No medical conditions that can reasonably be expected to subject the patient to unwarranted risk (e.g., cancer) or require frequent changes in medication. Well-controlled medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes will not be excluded.

Patients must not be pregnant or nursing and must be using effective contraception, if still at child-bearing age.

No history of prior severe traumatic brain injury or other severe neurologic or psychiatric condition, such as psychosis, stroke, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injury.

Not using any psychotropic medication which cannot be stopped 4 weeks before the study.

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 identifier (NCT number): NCT00001777

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)

Publications: Identifier: NCT00001777     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 980046
First Posted: December 10, 2002    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 4, 2008
Last Verified: November 1998

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Frontal Lobe Dementia
Serotonergic Transmission

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neurocognitive Disorders
Mental Disorders
Antidepressive Agents
Psychotropic Drugs
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Serotonin Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs