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Effects of Memantine on Magnetic Resonance (MR) Spectroscopy in Subjects at Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

Information source: New York University School of Medicine
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Alzheimer's Disease

Intervention: memantine (Drug); Placebo (Drug)

Phase: Phase 4

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: New York University School of Medicine

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Lidia Glodzik, MD PhD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: NYU School of Medicine


Recent data show that marked cell damage precedes the clinical manifestation of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Hence, targeting populations at risk with pharmacological interventions is a possible strategy to lessen the burden of the disease. Cognitively normal individuals with subjective memory complaints (SMC) manifest biological characteristics consistent with early AD and are at risk for future cognitive decline. Family history of AD also constitutes a risk. In a previous study the investigators showed that memantine slows down the accumulation of phosphorylated tau in normal SMC subjects. Using a multivoxel high field MR spectroscopy (MRS) technique, the investigators also demonstrated that memantine decreased hippocampal glutamate. Both these findings may be consistent with the drug's anti-excitotoxic activity. In this new project the investigators propose to treat a sample of 12 presymptomatic individuals at risk (SMC and family history of AD) with memantine. This will be a double blind, placebo controlled study with a control group (12 non-treated subjects). The investigators will determine whether the effects of memantine as assessed by cognitive performance and MRS are present after 4 months of treatment and persist 2 months after discontinuation. MRS will be used to evaluate the effect of memantine on levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate and neuronal viability marker N-acetylaspartate (NAA) in the hippocampus. The investigators will test the following hypotheses: 1. In subjects with SMC, memantine has modifying effects on brain biochemistry as reflected in MRS reductions in glutamate (reduced excitotoxicity) and increases in NAA (neuronal integrity). 2. The effects of the drug persist (as a marker of sustained neuroprotection) and can be measured 2 months after discontinuation of the treatment.

Clinical Details

Official title: Effects of Memantine on the Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) Measures of Neuronal Integrity in Subjects at Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Primary outcome: N-acetylaspartate


Minimum age: 55 Years. Maximum age: 90 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- presence of subjective memory complaints without objective evidence of impaired


- family history of Alzheimer's disease

Exclusion Criteria:

- major depression

- Parkinson's disease

- stroke

- seizures

- uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension

- current benzodiazepine use

- substance abuse

- contraindication for MRI

- contraindications for memantine

Locations and Contacts

NYU School of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry, Center for Brain Health, New York, New York 10016, United States
Additional Information

Starting date: July 2009
Last updated: October 20, 2014

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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