Ganglioside GM1 in acute ischemic stroke. The SASS Trial.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We sought to assess the safety and efficacy of ganglioside GM1 in acute (< or = 48 hours), anterior circulation ischemic stroke. METHODS: We screened more than 5000 patients at 13 centers in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-treatment, clinical trial and enrolled 287 patients. They received 100 mg GM1 or placebo intramuscularly daily for 28 days and were evaluated regularly for 84 days. Number of deaths, the Toronto Stroke Scale, and the Barthel Index were primary outcomes; improvements on the Fugl-Meyer Scale and on a neuropsychological battery were secondary outcomes. RESULTS: The groups were balanced for severity, side of stroke, age, sex, race, years of schooling, prior illness, and depression scores. Analyzable data were available on 275 patients; 217 patients completed the trial. Protocol-specified primary and secondary outcome measures showed no significant difference between treatment arms. However, improvement from baseline in the motor component of the Toronto Stroke Scale favored the GM1-treated group at day 28 when GM1 treatment stopped (P = .020); at day 84, the difference still favored the GM1-treated group (P = .057). All 10 components of the Barthel Index, the Fugl-Meyer Scale, and four of the five tests in the neuropsychological battery also favored the GM1 group. Adverse experiences were similar in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: GM1 is safe. However, since only certain post hoc tests showed statistically significant differences or trends favoring GM1, another clinical trial is needed to demonstrate efficacy.
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