Influence of a clinical trial in the decision-making processes of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Chris Kato, Satoru Morimoto, Shinichi Takahashi, Yugaku Date, Kensuke Okada, Hideyuki Okano, Jin Nakahara, Daisuke Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable neurological disease, and patients diagnosed with ALS have a survival time of 2–5 years without life-sustaining therapy. Decision-making processes for the acceptance or decline of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) and tracheostomy with invasive ventilation (TIV) therapy are complex and multifaceted. In this study, we examined whether participation or no participation in clinical trials of ALS had an influence on the decision-making processes of ALS patients. Methods: Fifty-seven consecutive ALS participants were recruited. Two participants did not wish to participate in any clinical trials, and Twenty-two participants were enrolled in clinical trials. Twenty-three participants wished to participate but could not be enrolled in any of the clinical trials because they exceeded the number of participants in these trials or they met the exclusion criteria. Result: At baseline, there was no significant difference in the preference rates for PEG and TIV between the participant and non-participant groups, but after the double-blind period/6 months, both preference rates were significantly higher in the non-participant group than in the participant group. Notably, the rate of preferred TIV in the participant group drastically decreased after the double-blind period. A single regression analysis revealed that participation in clinical trials had a strong influence on the change of TIV preference for 6 months. Conclusion: Participation in a clinical trial decreases the willingness to prolong life after the clinical trial. The present results are meaningful when designing clinical trials and discussing life-sustaining treatments with ALS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2634-2640
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Clinical trial
  • Decision-making
  • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy with invasive ventilation
  • Tracheostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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