Role of cerebral hypoperfusion in multiple sclerosis (ROCHIMS): study protocol for a proof-of-concept randomized controlled trial with bosentan

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Background: Axonal degeneration is related to long-term disability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The underlying mechanism remains ill understood but appears to involve axonal energetic dysfunction. A globally impaired cerebral blood flow (CBF) has been observed in the normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) of patients with MS, which is probably related to astrocytic overexpression of endothelin-1 (ET-1). Cerebral hypoperfusion has been associated with reduced mitochondrial activity and disabling symptoms (e.g. fatigue and cognitive decline) of MS. Countering this process could therefore be beneficial in the disease course. Short-term CBF restoration with a single 62.5-mg dose of the ET-1 receptor antagonist bosentan has already been demonstrated in patients with MS. Methods: The ROCHIMS study is a proof-of-concept double-blind randomized clinical trial in which patients with relapsing-remitting MS will receive either 62.5 mg bosentan or matching placebo twice daily during 28 ± 2 days. Clinical evaluation and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be performed at baseline and treatment termination. Based on previous work, we expect a global increase of CBF in the individuals treated with bosentan. The primary outcome measure is the change of N-acetyl aspartate in centrum semiovale NAWM, which is a marker of regional axonal mitochondrial activity. Other parameters of interest include changes in fatigue, cognition, motor function, depression, and brain volume. Discussion: We hypothesize that restoring cerebral hypoperfusion in MS patients improves axonal metabolism. Early positive effects on fatigue and cognitive dysfunction related to MS might additionally be detected. There is a medical need for drugs that can slow down the progressive axonal degeneration in MS, making this an important topic of interest.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummer164
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftTrials
Volume20
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
DOI's
StatusPublished - 14 mrt 2019

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