The Italian Journal of Neurological Sciences

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 363–366 | Cite as

Reduced glutathione in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an open, crossover, randomized trial

  • A. Chili
  • A. Cucatto
  • A. A. Terreni
  • D. Schiffer


The present study set out to define the possible effect of reduced glutathione (GSH), the substrate of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), a free radical inactivating enzyme, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Thirty-two patients affected by definite ALS seen in our institution between August 1993 and July 1994 were admitted to the study. The effect of GSH was studied in an open, crossover, randomized study. GSH was given at the dose of 600 mg each day intramuscularly for 12 weeks. The patients, taken sequentially, were randomly assigned to two groups. The first group received the drug while the second received only symptomatic therapies for 12 weeks. After a week of wash-out, the second group received GSH and the first only symptomatic therapies for 12 weeks. The rate of progression of the diseases was compared in the two groups. Clinical evaluation included manual test for muscle strength, Norris scale, bulbar scale, and forced vital capacity (FVC) percent. No significant difference was found in the progression of ALS in the two periods, although a slight slowing of the disease progression rate was found during the period of treatment, probably related to the open design of the study. Our data do not show any significant effect of reduced glutathione in modifying the progression of ALS.

Key words

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Free radicals Reduced glutathione Therapeutic trial 


Lo scopo del lavoro è stato definire il possibile effetto del glutatione ridotto (GSH), il substrato della glutatione perossidasi (GSH-Px), un enzima inattivatore dei radicali liberi, nella sclerosi laterale amiotrofica (SLA). Sono stati ammessi nello studio 32 pazienti affetti da SLA definita visitati nel nostro Istituto dall'agosto 1993 a luglio 1995. L'effetto del GSH è stato studiato in uno studio in aperto, crossover, randomizzato. Il GSH è stato somministrato alla dose di 600 mg per via intramuscolare per 12 settimane. I pazienti sono stati assegnati a caso, secondo l'ordine di visita, a due gruppi. Per le prime 12 settimane il primo gruppo ha ricevuto il farmaco e il secondo solo terapie sintomatiche. Dopo un wash-out di una settimana, il secondo gruppo ha ricevuto il GSH e il primo solo terapie sintomatiche per altre 12 settimane. È stata confrontata la velocità di progressione dei sintomi nei due gruppi. La valutazione clinica comprendeva test manuali per la forza muscolare, la scala di Norris, una scala bulbare e la capacità vitale forzata (FVC). Non è stata trovata alcuna differenza significativa nella velocità di progressione della SLA nei due periodi, anche se è stato osservato un lieve rallentamento nella velocità di progressione durante il perrodo di trattamento, forse dovuto al disegno in aperto dello studio. I nostri dati non dimostrano alcun effetto significativo del glutatione ridotto nel modificare la progressione della SLA.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Chili
    • 1
  • A. Cucatto
    • 1
  • A. A. Terreni
    • 1
  • D. Schiffer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosciencesUniversity of TorinoTorinoItaly

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