This trial is active, not recruiting.

Condition schizophrenia
Treatment d-serine
Phase phase 2
Sponsor National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Start date March 2006
End date June 2008
Trial size 20 participants
Trial identifier NCT00322023, DATR A5-EPTD, U01 MH074356


This study will determine whether increasing D-serine within the body will improve negative symptoms and cognitive impairments in people with schizophrenia.

United States No locations recruiting
Other countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation non-randomized
Endpoint classification safety/efficacy study
Intervention model single group assignment
Masking open label
Primary purpose treatment
Participants will receive treatment with D-serine
D-serine at following dose levels: 30 mg/kg, 60 mg/kg, and 120 mg/kg. PK/PD studies done at day 1. Medication will be administered as powder dissolved in liquid given in two divided doses daily for 4 weeks.

Primary Outcomes

Renal safety measures (serum, UA)
time frame: Measured at Week 4

Secondary Outcomes

Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS)
time frame: Measured at Week 4
Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) Battery
time frame: Measured at Week 4
Clinical Global Impression (CGI)
time frame: Measured at Week 4

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 18 years up to 60 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: - Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder - PANSS 3 factor negative symptom inclusion score greater than 20 prior to study entry - PANSS total score between 60 and 110 - Simpson-Angus Scale total score of 12 or less - Calgary Depression Inventory total score of 10 and suicide score less than 2 - No change in Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) Scale score prior to study entry - Chlorpromazine (CPZ) equivalent of 1500 or less - Willing to use an effective form of birth control throughout the study if sexually active Exclusion Criteria: - High extrapyramidal symptom (EPS) levels - Began, discontinued, or adjusted psychotropic medication within 2 weeks of study entry - Taking investigational medication within 2 weeks of study entry - Contraindication to study medication - Serious or unstable medical illness - Pregnant or breastfeeding - Alcohol or drug abuse within 6 months of study entry - Diagnosed with neurodegenerative disease or a seizure disorder - History of a kidney impairment - Currently taking clozapine - Currently taking more than two antipsychotic medications - Currently taking stimulants or cholinesterase inhibitors

Additional Information

Official title PK/PD Study of Escalating Dose D-Serine as Adjunctive Treatment in Schizophrenia
Principal investigator Daniel C. Javitt, MD, PhD
Description Schizophrenia is a life-long brain disorder affecting approximately 1 percent of Americans each year. Schizophrenia can be extremely disabling, causing people to hear voices, experience paranoia or hallucinations, believe that others are controlling their thoughts, and even fail at maintaining a job or caring for themselves. Current medications help to relieve most of these symptoms, but not all. Some people with schizophrenia still suffer from negative symptoms, such as difficulty with talking, expressing emotions, and motivation; they may also suffer from cognitive impairments, such as decreased concentration and memory loss. D-serine, an amino acid found within the body, activates brain cell receptors that appear to play a role in learning and memory. This study will determine whether adding a D-serine solution to a stable antipsychotic medication regimen will decrease negative symptoms in people with schizophrenia. Participants in this open-label study will remain on their regular medication regimen for at least 2 weeks. During this time and before starting treatment, participants will be interviewed about their emotional problems, marital status, education, family background, employment history, and any drug or alcohol problems. Participants will also undergo a physical exam, an electrocardiogram (EKG), vital sign measurements, psychological tests, cognitive tasks, and an electroencephalogram (EEG). Participants will then begin 4 weeks of treatment with D-serine. In addition to participants' regular medication regimen, they will drink a D-serine powder mixed with water twice daily. Every 2 weeks, participants will undergo a physical exam and an interview about any changes in symptoms or emotional problems that they may be experiencing. Blood and urine samples will be taken throughout the study. After 4 weeks, participants will undergo an EKG, EEG, and the same psychological tests and cognitive tasks completed prior to treatment. A follow-up visit will occur 2 weeks post-treatment to monitor any changes in negative symptoms.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in October 2008.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).