Escitalopram (Lexapro) for Depression MS or ALS

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
University of South Carolina Identifier:
First received: August 7, 2009
Last updated: August 4, 2011
Last verified: August 2011
The purpose of this study is to see if escitalopram (Lexapro) improves symptoms of major depressive disorder in patients who have ALS or MS.

Condition Intervention Phase
Major Depression
Multiple Sclerosis
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Drug: escitalopram
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: An Open-label, 8- Week, Flexible Dose Trial of Escitalopram (Lexapro®) in Comorbid Major Depression With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Multiple Sclerosis

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of South Carolina:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D 17). [ Time Frame: 8 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]
    Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 (HAM-D) is a 17-item observer rated scale that measures depressive symptoms. Items are rated 0 (no symptoms)-4 ( most severe symptoms. Possible minimum and maximum scores range is 0-50. total score indications: 0-7 = Normal; 8-13 = Mild Depression; 14-18 = Moderate Depression; 19-22 = Severe Depression and ≥ 23 = Very Severe Depression.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • McGill Quality of Life Scale (MQOL) [ Time Frame: 8 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    McGill Quality of Life Scale is a a 20-item scale measuring quality of life in chronic and end of life conditions. MQOL is self-reported with a 2-day time frame. Items are scored 0 (worst) to 10 (excellent)on five domains (physical well-being, physical symptoms, psychological, existential, and support). An overall index score can be calculated from the means of the five sub-scales measuring quality of life from 0 (poor) to 10 (excellent).

Enrollment: 13
Study Start Date: July 2009
Study Completion Date: March 2010
Primary Completion Date: March 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Escitalopram
All patients will receive escitalopram 20 mg daily.
Drug: escitalopram
After confirmation of diagnoses and safety screening escitalopram will be started at 10 mg per day and augmented weekly in 10 mg per day increments, the maximum dose being 20 mg per day. The dose will be titrated upward or downward based on clinical response and tolerability. No other psychotropic medications will be permitted during the study. Medications for coexisting medical problems (e.g. hypertension) will be permitted. Study visits will include weekly visits for first 2 weeks and biweekly visits for next 6 weeks. Medications will be dispensed weekly or biweekly and the participants will be followed for 8 weeks.
Other Name: Lexapro

Detailed Description:
This eight-week study aims to assess the effectiveness and tolerability of escitalopram in improving symptoms of Major Depression in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Multiple Sclerosis (MS) as measured by the HAM-D. In addition, the study will assess improvement in the quality of life in patients with Major Depression and ALS or MS.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients between 18 and 70 years of age with documented ALS or MS,
  • DSM-IV episode of non-psychotic Major Depression,
  • ≥14 score on the 17-item HAM-D,
  • Ability to give informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • History of psychotic disorders,
  • Psychotic depression,
  • Bipolar depression,
  • Suicide risk,
  • History of substance abuse in the previous 6 months,
  • History of unstable medical disorders,
  • Pregnancy or planning for pregnancy,
  • Severity of ALS or MS that limits participating in the study protocol.
  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: NCT00965497

United States, South Carolina
University of South Carolina School of Medicine
Columbia,, South Carolina, United States, 20203
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of South Carolina
Principal Investigator: Meera Narasimhan, MD University of South Carolina School of Medicine
  More Information

Responsible Party: Meera Narasimhan, MD, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Identifier: NCT00965497     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: LXP-113 
Study First Received: August 7, 2009
Results First Received: April 19, 2011
Last Updated: August 4, 2011
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by University of South Carolina:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis
Major Depression
Major Depressive Disorder

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder, Major
Motor Neuron Disease
Multiple Sclerosis
Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System
Behavioral Symptoms
Central Nervous System Diseases
Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS
Demyelinating Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Mental Disorders
Metabolic Diseases
Mood Disorders
Nervous System Diseases
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Pathologic Processes
Proteostasis Deficiencies
Spinal Cord Diseases
TDP-43 Proteinopathies
Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
Antidepressive Agents
Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
Antiparkinson Agents processed this record on May 26, 2016