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Placebo-Controlled Pilot Trial of Mecamylamine for Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders

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: NCT00773812
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : October 16, 2008
Last Update Posted : January 13, 2017
Autism Speaks
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
L. Eugene Arnold, Ohio State University

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to examine the safety and efficacy of mecamylamine for the core symptoms of autism.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Autistic Disorder Pervasive Developmental Disorder Drug: mecamylamine Drug: placebo Phase 1

Detailed Description:

This is a placebo-controlled pilot clinical trial of a nicotinic agent based on evidence that a disturbance occurs in nicotinic cholinergic transmission in the brain of autistic children. This pharmacotherapeutic trial will be conducted as a direct result of findings of a nicotinic receptor abnormality in autopsied brain tissue from individuals who suffered from autism. A pharmacological agent, mecamylamine, with specificity for the nicotinic receptors implicated in autism, will be tested in children with autism spectrum disorder. Twenty children who meet inclusion/exclusion criteria will be randomized in a 2:3 ratio to 14 weeks of either matched placebo (n=8) or mecamylamine (n=12). Children randomized to placebo who do not respond will be given the opportunity to enroll in a ten week open label extension.

The trial has been completed and published in J. of Child & Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 20 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Neuronal Nicotinic Receptor Modulation in the Treatment of Autism: A Pilot Trial of Mecamylamine
Study Start Date : July 2007
Actual Primary Completion Date : November 2012
Actual Study Completion Date : November 2012

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Active Mecamylamine
There will be 12 children in this arm. These children will receive the active medication (mecamylamine).
Drug: mecamylamine
The dosage is titrated at 6 weeks of .5mg, 2 weeks of 2.5 mg, and 6 weeks of 5.0 mg. One pill is taken once daily.
Other Name: Inversine

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
There will be 8 children in this arm. These children will receive placebo instead of the active medication.
Drug: placebo
One pill is taken once daily.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. The primary measure will be a global composite derived by calculating the z scores on each measure other than CGI from published norms (or from the baseline descriptives, then averaging the z scores of the various outcome measures for each individual. [ Time Frame: Baseline, weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10,12, and 14. ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. OSU Autism Rating Scale-DSM-IV [ Time Frame: Baseline, week 6, 8, and 14. ]
  2. Repetitive Behavior Questionnaire [ Time Frame: Baseline, week 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 ]
  3. Aberrant Behavior Checklist [ Time Frame: Baseline, week 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14. ]
  4. Ohio Autism Clinical Impressions Scale [ Time Frame: Baseline, weeks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 14. ]
  5. Social Responsiveness Scale [ Time Frame: Baseline, weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14. ]
  6. Expressive Vocabulary test-Second Edition [ Time Frame: Baseline and week 14 ]
  7. Adverse Experience checklist and AE log [ Time Frame: Baseline, weeks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 14. ]
  8. Cognitive Battery [ Time Frame: baseline, weeks 6, 8, and 14 ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   4 Years to 12 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Autistic Disorder or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified
  • Age 4-12
  • General good health
  • IQ of >=36 or mental age of >=18 months
  • Parent/caregiver willingness to accompany child to clinic and monitor for side effects

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Unstable Seizure Disorder
  • Psychoactive medication in the process of adjustment
  • Antipsychotic medication in previous 3 months before baseline
  • Systemic corticoids (inhalers allowed)
  • Planned beginning of major behavioral intervention in 3 months of study or the 2 months prior to 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): NCT00773812

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United States, Ohio
Nisonger Center
Columbus, Ohio, United States, 43210
Sponsors and Collaborators
Ohio State University
Autism Speaks
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Principal Investigator: L E Arnold, M.D. Ohio State University
Publications of Results:
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Responsible Party: L. Eugene Arnold, Interim Director of Nisonger Center, Ohio State University Identifier: NCT00773812    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2007H0096
First Posted: October 16, 2008    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 13, 2017
Last Verified: January 2017
Keywords provided by L. Eugene Arnold, Ohio State University:
Autistic Disorder
Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Autistic Disorder
Developmental Disabilities
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Child Development Disorders, Pervasive
Pathologic Processes
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders
Antihypertensive Agents
Ganglionic Blockers
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Nicotinic Antagonists
Cholinergic Antagonists
Cholinergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action