Safety and Tolerability of Perampanel in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients

Study Purpose:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common motor neuron disease, is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting motor cortex, brainstem and spinal cord leading to motor neuron death. It is a devastating disease of the anterior and lateral corticospinal tracts with approximately 3 years mean duration from symptoms onset to death, one-fifth survival at 5 years and only 10% may make it to 10 years.

Among the neuronal death pathways, excitotoxicity mechanism is considered to be the foremost-involved mechanism. AMPA receptors are thought to be the prime mediator of the fast excitation in spinal motor neurons, where they are expressed ubiquitously. AMPA receptor antagonist was able to prevent this acute degeneration in previous animal studies.

The investigators aim to study the tolerability and safety of the novel AMPA antagonist, perampanel, in patients diagnosed with ALS. Perampanel [2-(2-oxo-1-phenyl-5- pyridin-2-yl-1,2-dihydropyridin-3-yl) benzonitrile] with its selective non-competitive AMPA antagonism, was recently approved for epilepsy. Various long-term trials studying perampanel in epilepsy showed favorable tolerability profile and most common side effects were mainly: dizziness, headache and somnolence. All patients presenting to Neurology clinics at AUBMC diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, will be considered for the study. Investigators will obtain informed consents from all patients who agree to be enrolled in this study in accordance with institutional review board (IRB) requirements. Patients of both genders and over 18 years old who meet the El Escorial criteria for possible, probable or definite ALS and fit the inclusion criteria will be recruited. Subjects should not be started on riluzole for the past 30 days or stable on a dose of riluzole for at least 30 days prior to the screening process.

In titration phase, perampanel dose will be increase by 2mg/day increments every one week to reach a maximum dose of 8 mg/day; reaching the maximum dose in four weeks. Treatment phase will be followed by washout period during which, dose will be tapered by 2mg/day every 5 days (over total of 15 days).

Study Status:

Not recruiting


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Study Type:


Type of Intervention:


Intervention Name:





Phase 2

Study Chair(s)/Principal Investigator(s):

Johnny Salameh, MD, American University of Beirut Medical Center ID:


Neals Affiliated?


Coordinating Center Contact Information

Study Sponsor:

American University of Beirut Medical Center

Estimated Enrollment:


Estimated Study Start Date:

12 / 01 / 2019

Estimated Study Completion Date:

07 / 01 / 2021

Posting Last Modified Date:

09 / 01 / 2021

Date Study Added to

12 / 19 / 2017

Minimum Age:

18 Years

Maximum Age:

80 Years

Inclusion Criteria:

- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) volunteers must be diagnosed within the 3 years prior to participation as having possible, probable, or definite ALS, either sporadic or familial according to modified El Escorial criteria

- Age 18-80, able to provide informed consent, and comply with study procedures

- Participants must not have started riluzole for at least 30 days, or be on a stable dose of riluzole for at least 30 days, prior to screening (riluzole-naïve participants are permitted in the study)

- Slow VC test equal to or greater than 50% of the predicted value

Exclusion Criteria:

- The presence of unstable psychiatric disease, cognitive impairment, or dementia that would impair ability of the participant to provide informed consent

- Exposure to any experimental agent within 30 days of entry or at any time during the trial or enrollment in another research study within 30 days of or during this trial

- Women who are breastfeeding, who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant

- Renal insufficiency as defined by a serum creatinine > 1.5 times the upper limit of normal

- Hepatic insufficiency or abnormal liver function (AST and/or ALT greater than 3 times the upper limit of the normal range)

- Slow VC test less than 50% of the predicted value

- ECG finding of QTc prolongation > 450 ms

- Patients who had already undergone tracheostomy

Johnny S. Salameh

Beirut 1107 2020