Modafinil and Cognitive Function in POTS
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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01988883
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : November 20, 2013
Last Update Posted : July 27, 2018
Sponsor: Vanderbilt University
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Amy Arnold, Vanderbilt University
A common complaint among patients with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is “brain fog” or difficulty concentrating. This problem is poorly understood.
The purpose of this study is to better understand the cognitive dysfunction associated POTS, and to determine optimal treatment strategies for this condition. In this study, the investigators will test the hypothesis that acute administration of the psychostimulant drug modafinil can improve seated measures of cognitive function in patients with POTS.
Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Postural Tachycardia Syndrome
Early Phase 1
Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is one of the most frequent forms of chronic orthostatic intolerance and affects an estimated 500,000 people in the United States alone. This disorder is a common source of disability in young adults, with a strong predilection for premenopausal women. POTS is characterized by an excessive increase in heart rate (>30 bpm) on assuming the upright position that is associated with orthostatic symptoms that are relieved by lying down. These symptoms include palpitations, chest pain, lightheadedness or dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and fatigue. In addition, POTS patients commonly report mental clouding or “brain fog” even while lying down or seated, which can pose significant limitations to daily life.
Although mental clouding is an almost universal complaint among POTS patients, this phenomenon is poorly understood. As a result, the optimal treatment strategies to manage cognitive dysfunction in this condition remain unknown. The purpose of this study is to better define the mental clouding associated with POTS and to determine whether the psychostimulant modafinil is a viable therapeutic option to improve cognitive function in these patients. The investigators hypothesize that acute modafinil administration will improve seated measures of cognitive function in POTS patients. The specific aims are:
To assess whether acute modafinil improves seated measures of cognitive function, particularly measures of attention and executive function, in POTS patients compared to placebo.
To assess whether propranolol, either alone as an active control or in combination with modafinil to mitigate potential heart rate increases, can improve cognitive function in POTS.
Patients will be studied on 4 separate days with oral administration of: placebo, modafinil (200 mg), propranolol (20 mg) and the combination of modafinil (200 mg) and propranolol (20 mg). The order of administration will be randomized in a double-blind manner. Patients will be seated during the study and cognitive testing will begin approximately 2.5 hours after medication administration. Cognitive testing will consist of the CogState computerized brief battery.
Patients will also be asked to stand for 10 minutes (or as long as tolerated) at 1, 3 and 4 hours post medication, with some of the cognitive tests repeated while standing at the 4 hour time point.
Early Phase 1