Selegiline is ineffective in a collaborative double-blind, placebo- controlled trial for treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Dale J. Lange, Peregrine L. Murphy, Beverly Diamond, Vicki Appel, Eugene C. Lai, David S. Younger, Stanley H. Appel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not known, and there is no effective treatment. Cell death may be caused by oxidative damage. Selegiline hydrochloride (Eldepryl) is a monoamine oxidase- B inhibitor with antioxidant properties. Objective: To determine if selegiline affects the clinical course of patients with ALS. Design: Six- month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 133 patients with classical ALS and symptoms for less than 3 years. The primary end point to indicate effectiveness was the rate of change of the Appel ALS total score, an index of disease severity that incorporates strength and function in limbs, respiratory function, and bulbar function. Results: Of the 133 patients, 67 were randomized to receive selegiline and 66 to receive placebo. One hundred four patients (53 in the selegiline group and 51 in the placebo group) completed the 6-month trial. Both groups were comparable for baseline characteristics and mean Appel ALS total score (70.5 points for the selegiline group and 70.6 for the placebo group). There was no difference in the rate of progression as measured by the Appel ALS total score, showing an average increase of 22 points in 6 months. The monthly rate of change was 3.4 for the selegiline group and 3.5 for the placebo group. There was I adverse reaction: worsening depression. Seven patients died during the study (4 in the selegiline group and 3 in the placebo group). Conclusion: Selegiline treatment had no significant effect on the rate of clinical progression or outcome of ALS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-96
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of neurology
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 8 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology

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