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A protocol for a randomised controlled, double-blind feasibility trial investigating fluoxetine treatment in improving memory and learning impairments in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy: Fluoxetine, Learning and Memory in Epilepsy (FLAME trial)

Drew, Cheney J. G., Postans, Mark, Petralia, Cateno, McNamara, Rachel, Pallmann, Philip, Gillespie, Dave, Evans, Lisa H., Muhlert, Nils, Winter, Mia, Hamandi, Khalid and Gray, William P. 2019. A protocol for a randomised controlled, double-blind feasibility trial investigating fluoxetine treatment in improving memory and learning impairments in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy: Fluoxetine, Learning and Memory in Epilepsy (FLAME trial). Pilot and Feasibility Studies 5 (1) , -. 10.1186/s40814-019-0474-x

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Abstract

Background People with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) report significant problems with learning and memory. There are no effective therapies for combatting these problems in people with TLE, resulting in an unmet therapeutic need. The lack of treatment is, in part, due to a poor understanding of the neurobiology underlying these memory deficits. We know that hippocampal neurogenesis, a process believed to be important in learning and memory formation, is permanently reduced in chronic TLE, and this may go some way to explain the learning and memory impairments seen in people with TLE. The common anti-depressant drug fluoxetine has been shown to stimulate neurogenesis both in the healthy brain and in neurological diseases where neurogenesis is impaired. In an animal model of TLE, administration of fluoxetine was found to restore neurogenesis and improve learning on a complex spatial navigational task. We now want to test this effect in humans by investigating whether administration of fluoxetine to people with TLE can improve learning and memory. Methods This is a single-centre randomised controlled, double-blind feasibility trial. We plan to recruit 20 participants with a diagnosis of TLE and uni-lateral hippocampal sclerosis, confirmed by 3T MRI. Eligible participants will undergo baseline assessments of learning and memory prior to being randomised to either 20 mg/day fluoxetine or matching placebo for 60 days. Follow-up assessments will be conducted after 60 days of trial medication and then again at 60 days after cessation of trial medication. Feasibility will be assessed on measures of recruitment, retention and adherence against pre-determined criteria. Discussion This trial is designed to determine the feasibility of conducting a double-blind randomised controlled trial of fluoxetine for the treatment of learning and memory impairments in people with TLE. Data collected in this trial will inform the design and utility of any future efficacy trial involving fluoxetine for the treatment of learning and memory in people with TLE.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 2055-5784
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 July 2019
Date of Acceptance: 26 June 2019
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2019 10:00
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/124255

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