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Will Decreased Noradrenergic Activity Normalize Information Processing in Patients With Schizophrenia?

Information source: University of Copenhagen
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 20, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Schizophrenia

Intervention: clonidine (Drug); clonidine (Drug)

Phase: N/A

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Birte Glenthoj

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Birte Glenthoj, MD, DMSc., Study Director, Affiliation: Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research, University of Copenhagen, Psychaitric Center Glostrup, Ndr. Ringvej, DK-2600 Glostrup, Denmark


The investigators want to try to improve information processing in schizophrenic patients via pharmacological intervention. The hypothesis is that decreased noradrenergic activity will normalize information processing (PPI, P50 gating, P300, and mismatch negativity) in patients with schizophrenia.

Clinical Details

Official title: Will Decreased Noradrenergic Activity Normalize Information Processing in Patients With Schizophrenia?

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Pharmacodynamics Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome:

The following psychophysiological measures:

Prepulse Inhibition og the Startle Response (PPI)

P50 suppression

P300 Event Related Potential

Mismatch negativity


Detailed description: A number of reports in literature provide evidence for, among others, an increased central noradrenergic activity in schizophrenia. In addition to this increased noradrenergic activity, patients with schizophrenia often show reduced filtering of sensory information, which is reflected in reduced P50 suppression and reduced prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex (PPI). In two separate initial studies in our laboratory, we found reduced sensory gating following administration of imipramine (a combined noradrenergic and serotonergic agonist) and desipramine (a highly specific noradrenergic agonist) to healthy volunteers. This provides evidence for a direct causal relation between the increased noradrenergic activity and the disturbed gating of sensory information, as both commonly found in patients with schizophrenia. Therefore, in a follow-up study, the effects of a noradrenergic antagonist will be investigated on the sensory gating of patients with schizophrenia. To further extend the data of our initial studies, the patients will additionally be tested for two psychophysiological parameters of attention that are usually found to be disturbed in patients with schizophrenia, i. e. mismatch negativity and selective attention. The design will conform to a double blind, placebo controlled experiment, in which either four doses (0. 25 ug, 50 ug, 75 ug or 150 ug)of clonidine or placebo will be added to the current medical treatment of 20 male patients with schizophrenia on five occasions, separated by at least a week, after which they are tested in the Copenhagen Psychophysiological Test Battery (CPTB).In order to test the effects of clonidine in healthy volunteers, 20 healthy males will receive a fixed dose of 0. 15 mg clonidine or placebo on two separate occasions separated by at least a week, after which they will be tested in the CPTB as well.


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: 45 Years. Gender(s): Male.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Patients:

- Male subjects

- Meeting the DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia

- Controls:

- Male subjects

- Good Physical and Mental Health meeting criteria "never mentally ill", which

will be evaluated with a medical history checklist

- Non smokers

Exclusion Criteria:

- Patients:

- A P50 suppression or PPI score falling within a range of 10 percent above or

below the mean score of the healthy control group

- Controls:

- Current use of any medication

- Any subject who has received any investigational medication within 30 days prior

to the start of this study

- History of neurologic illness

- History of psychiatric illness in first-degree relatives, evaluated with DSM-IV


- History of alcohol and drug abuse.

Locations and Contacts

Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research, University of Copenhagen, Psychiatric Center Glostrup, Copenhagen NV DK-2400, Denmark
Additional Information

Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR)

Starting date: May 2005
Last updated: December 19, 2013

Page last updated: August 20, 2015

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