A phase 1, randomized double-blind, placebo controlled trial to evaluate safety and efficacy of epigallocatechin-3-gallate and cognitive training in adults with Fragile X syndrome

Clin Nutr. 2020 Feb;39(2):378-387. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2019.02.028. Epub 2019 Mar 25.


Background & aims: Despite the wide spectrum of experimental compounds tested in clinical trials, there is still no proven pharmacological treatment available for Fragile-X syndrome (FXS), since several targeted clinical trials with high expectations of success have failed to demonstrate significant improvements. Here we tested epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) as a treatment option for ameliorating core cognitive and behavioral features in FXS.

Methods: We conducted preclinical studies in Fmr1 knockout mice (Fmr1-/y) using novel object-recognition memory paradigm upon acute EGCG (10 mg/kg) administration. Furthermore we conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled phase I clinical trial (TESXF; NCT01855971). Twenty-seven subjects with FXS (18-55 years) were administered of EGCG (5-7 mg/kg/day) combined with cognitive training (CT) during 3 months with 3 months of follow-up after treatment discontinuation.

Results: Preclinical studies showed an improvement in memory using the Novel Object Recognition paradigm. We found that FXS patients receiving EGCG + CT significantly improved cognition (visual episodic memory) and functional competence (ABAS II-Home Living skills) in everyday life compared to subjects receiving Placebo + CT.

Conclusions: Phase 2 clinical trials in larger groups of subjects are necessary to establish the therapeutic potential of EGCG for the improvement of cognition and daily life competences in FXS.

Keywords: Cognition; Epigallocatechin gallate; Fragile-X syndrome; Functionality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't