How do I learn more about current open studies?
Below you will find a list of current studies. Clicking on the link will take you to the study summary, which will provide you with all the important details for each study.
How do I participate in a study?
Each study summary provides a list of hospitals or clinics where the study is being run. Using the contact information provided, you may contact any of these facilities in order to request participation in a study.
The Phenotype-Genotype and Biomarker Study of the CReATe Consortium will prospectively and systematically study approximately 700 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or a related neurodegenerative disorder such as ALS-frontotemporal dementia (FTD), primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), progressive muscular atrophy (PMA), and multisystem proteinopathy (MSP). The study is broadly inclusive, enrolling patients with both familial and sporadic forms of disease. All enrolled patients will undergo five in-person evaluations at one of the CReATe consortium clinical sites as well as annual remote evaluations. In-person evaluations will include motor, cognitive and functional assessments as well as collection of biological fluids. Remote evaluations will focus on functional status and disease staging. Family members of patients with apparently sporadic disease (i.e. no family history) may also participate through a remote-evaluation process in which they provide limited information about their medical history as well as biological samples (blood and urine). Every effort will be made to integrate study procedures into multi-disciplinary clinic visits to minimize the burden of participation on patients and their families.
ALS and related neurodegenerative disorders are currently untreatable. One important reason may be that clinical trials in the past have regarded all ALS patients, for example, as having the same disease. With the growing recognition that ALS is a heterogeneous clinical syndrome with many different causes (rather than a unitary disease with single cause), it is increasingly clear that clinical trials should rather focus on subgroups of patients with shared disease characteristics (e.g. the same genetic cause of disease, or the same biological mechanisms that cause motor neurons to become sick and die).
The goals of this study are threefold. The first is to better understand the genetic contribution to ALS and related neurodegenerative disorders. The second is to prepare for a future of clinical trials in which potential treatments will be tested in patients who share certain characteristics such as a specific genetic cause of disease. The third is to develop biological markers that will aid testing of novel therapeutics. The first two goals will be accomplished by combining detailed information about the clinical symptoms and signs of disease (i.e. phenotype) with an in-depth understanding of an individual's genetic make-up (genotype). The third goal will be accomplished by laboratory testing of biological samples (blood, urine and spinal fluid) that are collected from study participants. Although the study protocol does not specifically involve testing any new treatments, all study procedures are directly relevant to therapeutic development.
This longitudinal study will recruit approximately 700 people who are affected with ALS or a related disorder (primary participants). Patients with both familial and sporadic forms of these diseases will be enrolled. In addition, where possible, we will collect a blood sample and limited clinical information from family members of affected individuals (secondary participants); we expect to enroll ~700 secondary participants.
Study involvement (for primary participants) entails five in-person assessments over two years and annual remote assessments thereafter:
Study involvement (for secondary participants) entails a single remote assessment:
We will look at your medical records from your doctor’s office so that we can get information about your medical history.
To be eligible to participate, you must:
You are not eligible to participate if:
In order to participate in a study, you must personally contact the study coordinator of any of the participating institutions by phone or by e-mail. Please use the information below to inquire about participation.
University of California, San Diego
Ivy Chippendale Cass
University of Miami (UM)
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
University of Iowa
University of Texas Southwestern
Steve Hopkins, CCRC
California Pacific Medical Center
University of Virginia
Amruta Joshi, MS
University of Kansas Medical Center
Join CReATe Connect!
The purpose of this study is to learn about rates of disease progression in patients with motor neuron diseases, as reported by the patients while they are outside of clinic. Another purpose of this study is to learn about clinical characteristics that patients report influence this rate of progression. All patients enrolled in CReATe Connect, a Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN) Contact Registry, will be invited via email to participate in this study.
Motor neuron diseases (MND) are a group of disorders with the common feature of progressive loss of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord which lead to loss of motor functions like walking, dressing, swallowing, or breathing. The majority of patients followed in multi-disciplinary MND clinics will have a clinical diagnosis of ALS. But MND exist on a spectrum from pure upper motor dysfunction (primary lateral sclerosis, PLS or hereditary spastic paraplegia, HSP), to mixed upper and lower motor neuron dysfunction (ALS), to pure lower motor neuron involvement (progressive muscular atrophy, PMA). Some patients have memory or behavioral changes in addition to their motor limitations (ALS with frontotemporal dementia, ALS-FTD).
Functional rating scales have become the standard primary outcome measure for clinical trials of neurodegenerative diseases. The ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) was designed to assess the ability of ALS patients to perform activities of daily living and to detect functional changes during clinical trials. The ALSFRS-R is quickly administered by research personnel or study staff (ten minutes) and is a rating scale that assesses capability and independence in 12 functional activities. These include six bulbar-respiratory functions, three upper extremity functions (writing, cutting food, and dressing), and three gross motor functions (walking, climbing, and turning in bed). Each activity is recorded to the closest approximation from a list of five choices, scored 0-4, with the total score ranging from 48 (normal function) to 0 (no function). The ability to use a patient-reported tool like the ALSFRS-R to assess patient function between clinic visits from the home would be a powerful new tool for clinicians to monitor the effect of interventions including: medications, orthotic devices, and respiratory or feeding support. In addition, the usefulness of a scale like the ALSFRS-R in the full range of MND is not known. We developed a new patient-reported survey which incorporates many of the key elements of the ALSFRS to be used by MND patients in between patient visits.
The research questions are:
This is a prospective 12-month study of patients with MND enrolled in CReATe Connect, an RDCRN Contact Registry. Participants will be asked to complete the survey every month for 1 year.
The survey will contain questions about participants’ diagnosis (such as age when symptoms started, where first symptoms occurred) and functional status (things like walking, eating, dressing, breathing). We will ask participants to update their functional status survey (15 questions) monthly for 1 year. Participants may choose to skip any question(s) that make them feel uncomfortable. It should take approximately 20 minutes to complete the survey the first time, then 10-15 minutes for each follow up survey.
If you have not done so already, please join CReATe Connect, a Contact Registry that has been established through the RDCRN! We will invite individuals in CReATe Connect to participate in this study.
If you have questions or concerns about this study or about the survey, please contact:
Jeffrey Statland, MD
University of Kansas Medical Center
Research Coordinator: Kathryn Johns
Callyn A. Kirk, MSPH
University of South Florida Health Informatics Institute
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
ALS is a disease that causes muscle loss, paralysis (inability to move), and eventually death. The average ALS patient lives 3 to 5 years after diagnosis. There are few treatments for ALS.
The immune system is how the body fights off infection and disease. Cells called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are part of the human immune system. Some ALS patients have unusually high levels of ILCs.
We want to find out how ILCs work in ALS patients. We also want to know if a person’s ILCs make their ALS worse over time. We hope what we learn in this study will lead to new ALS treatments.
The immune system plays an important key role in ALS. The immune system responds to ALS in two different ways. The first response seems to be helpful, but the second response may be harmful as ALS gets worse.
ILCs might contribute to the helpful ALS response. But a very high ILC level might eventually lead to the harmful ALS response.
We will look at ILCs in ALS patients for one year. We will try to determine when their ILC levels begin to increase. We will also try to find out if ILCs are more active in ALS patients than in people without ALS.
If you decide to be in this study, we will visit you every month for a year. At each visit, we will use a needle to take about 2 teaspoons of blood from your vein. We will also call you on the phone every month to ask you about your health. You will be asked to give your informed consent to participate. The informed consent process allows you to ask questions about the study to make sure you understand what is going to happen to you.
You may be able to take part in this study if you:
You cannot take part if you:
Please Note: We will try to enroll as many ALS patients in this study as we can. But we may not be able to enroll everyone who wants to participate.
If you have questions about this study or may like to join, please contact us by phone or by e-mail:
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Study Coordinator: Blake Swihart