Efficacy of glutamate modulators in tic suppression: A double-blind, randomized control trial of D-serine and riluzole in tourette syndrome

Monica E. Lemmon, Marco Grados, Tina Kline, Carol B. Thompson, Syed F. Ali, Harvey S. Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background It has been hypothesized that glutamatergic transmission may be altered in Tourette syndrome. In this study, we explored the efficacy of a glutamate agonist (D-serine) and antagonist (riluzole) as tic-suppressing agents in children with Tourette syndrome. Methods We performed a parallel three-arm, 8-week, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled treatment study in children with Tourette syndrome. Each child received 6 weeks of treatment with D-serine (maximum dose 30 mg/kg/day), riluzole (maximum dose 200 mg/day), or placebo, followed by a 2-week taper. The primary outcome measure was effective tic suppression as determined by the differences in the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale score; specifically, the total tic score and the combined score (total tic score + global impairment) between treatment arms after 6 weeks of treatment. Mann-Whitney U tests were performed to analyze differences between each group and the placebo group. Results Twenty-four patients (males = 21, ages 9-18) enrolled in the study; one patient dropped out before completion. Combined Yale Global Tic Severity Scale score and total tic scores improved in all groups. The 6-week mean percent improvement of the riluzole (n = 10), D-serine (n = 9), and placebo (n = 5) groups in the combined Yale Global Tic Severity Scale score were 43.7, 39.5, and 30.2 and for total tic scores were 38.0, 25.0, and 34.0, respectively. There were no significant differences in Yale Global Tic Severity Scale score or total tic score, respectively, between the riluzole and placebo (P = 0.35, 0.85) or D-serine and placebo (P = 0.50, 0.69) groups. Conclusion Tics diminished by comparable percentages in the riluzole, D-serine, and placebo groups. These preliminary data suggest that D-serine and riluzole are not effective in tic suppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-634
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Neurology
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Keywords

  • Tourette syndrome
  • d-serine
  • glutamate
  • riluzole
  • tics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology

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