Investigational Therapy Reduces Tourette Tic Severity Without Adverse Effects

Share this content:
Current treatments for Tourette syndrome are associated with adverse effects, such as weight gain.
Current treatments for Tourette syndrome are associated with adverse effects, such as weight gain.
The following article is part of live conference coverage from the 2017 International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders (MDS) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Neurology Advisor's staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from MDS 2017.

VANCOUVER — Treatment with ecopipam reduces tic severity and is generally well tolerated compared with placebo in children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome, according to findings presented at the 2017 International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.

Ecopipam, an investigational selective D1 receptor antagonist, previously demonstrated efficacy for the treatment of tics in adults with Tourette syndrome in a phase 2 clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01244633). In the current phase 2 study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02102698), a team of investigators led by Donald Gilbert, MD, MS, FAAN, FAAP, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohio, sought to investigate the safety and efficacy of ecopipam in patients aged 7 to 17 years.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study included 40 patients with a Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) total tic score of 20. Patients enrolled in the study were not allowed to take ADHD-related stimulants or D2 receptor blocking agents, alpha2 noradrenergic agonists, or other medications for tics. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either ecopipam (50 mg/d for weight <34 kg; 100 mg/d for weight >34 kg) or placebo for 4 weeks, followed by a 2-week washout period and 4-week crossover.

At the 2-week and 4-week evaluations, reductions in total YGTSS scores were greater in the treatment group compared with placebo (P ≤.05). Similar reduction was seen for motor and phonic tics (motor, 16 and 30 days: P ≤.05; phonic, 16 days: P ≤.05 and 30 days: P ≤.09). At 4 weeks, 38% of patients in the treatment group showed “much” or “very much” improvement compared with 18% in the placebo group (P =.08). The proportion of patients whose symptoms were in the “marked” or “severe” range dropped from 40% to 15% after treatment, and the proportion of patients with “mild” symptoms increased from 2.5% to 45%.

Overall, adverse events were mainly mild to moderate, including somnolence, gastrointestinal symptoms, nasopharyngitis, and headache. Four incidents were rated as severe, including headache and insomnia, and 1 was unrelated to treatment. Notably, patients in the treatment group experienced neither weight gain, drug-induced movement disorders, nor changes in renal or hepatic values, electrocardiograms, or vital signs.

“Neurologists have long wondered why there were no D1 receptor antagonists available to treat patients with hyperkinetic movement disorders,” Dr Gilbert told Neurology Advisor. “This phase 2, placebo-controlled study of the D1 receptor antagonist ecopipam shows promise for effectively treating tics in adolescents with Tourette syndrome.”

Disclosures: The study was supported by Psyadon Pharmaceuticals.

Visit Neurology Advisor's conference section for continuous coverage live from MDS 2017.

Reference

Gilbert D, Murphy T, Jankovic J, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the D1 receptor antagonist ecopipam for children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome. Presented at: 2017 International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders. June 4-8, 2017; Vancouver, BC, Canada. Abstract 1185. 

You must be a registered member of Neurology Advisor to post a comment.

Upcoming Meetings

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters