Head-up Tilt Sleeping to Alleviate Orthostatic Hypotension, Supine Hypertension and Nocturia in Parkinson’s Disease

Overview

Autonomic dysfunction is common and often underrecognized in Parkinson's disease (PD). Orthostatic hypotension (OH) affects up to a third of PD patients and often coincides with supine hypertension. This co-occurrence complicates pharmacological treatment as treatment of one can negatively affect the other. Head-up tilt sleeping (HUTS) could improve both. This phase II randomized controlled trial (RCT) aims to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of this understudied intervention, leading to optimal implementation strategies.

Full Title of Study: “The Heads-Up Trial: Sleeping in a Head-Up Tilt Position to Alleviate Orthostatic Hypotension, Supine Hypertension and Nocturia in Parkinson’s Disease”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: November 2023

Detailed Description

Autonomic dysfunction is common and often underrecognized in Parkinson's disease (PD). Orthostatic hypotension (OH) affects up to a third of PD patients and about half of them also exhibit supine hypertension. In current clinical practice both are undertreated. The common co-occurrence of OH and supine hypertension complicates pharmacological treatment as improvement of one can be accomplished only at the expense of the other. Head-up tilt sleeping (HUTS) is the only intervention known that could improve both. The concept of HUTS is based on several small-scale observational studies and expert opinion. Although HUTS has been proposed as an effective and even first choice non-pharmacological treatment for OH for over three decades, it is often not advised to patients because of lack of evidence on its effectiveness and on how to implement it. The Heads-Up trial is a multicenter home-based double-blind phase II RCT. The study aims to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of HUTS, leading to optimal implementation strategies of HUTS to treat orthostatic hypotension and supine hypertension.

Interventions

  • Other: Head-up tilt sleeping
    • Whole-body head-up tilt sleeping (HUTS) will be carried out in three different angles, each for the duration of two weeks. Prior to the first angle the participant will sleep in a horizontal position for 1 week. The different angles will be installed using a wedge between the mattress and bed frame.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Intervention group
    • At T0, in-clinic inclusion, we will record basic characteristics and several questionnaires, we will also perform a short tilt-table-test and standing blood pressure (BP) test. Intake is followed by one week of horizontal sleeping for baseline home-based BP measurements. Participants in the intervention group will then sleep in a head-up tilt position for two weeks each in angles 6°, 12° and 18°. At the second and final in-clinic meeting, at T1, measurements done at T0 will be repeated, complemented with an assessment of barriers and facilitators of HUTS. During HUTS daily BP measurements will be done, and data will be collected on orthostatic tolerance, nighttime urine production, subjective comfort of HUTS, falls.
  • Other: Delayed intervention group
    • Follows the same structure as the intervention group, but starts with a HUTS placebo angle of 1° for two weeks, followed by two intervention angles of 6° and 12° for two weeks each. The 1°-angle serves as the control intervention.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Average overnight supine blood pressure
    • Time Frame: Measured four times: in week 1, 3, 5 and 7
    • Average overnight supine blood pressure (mmHg) from the 24h ambulatory blood pressure measurement (ABPM)

Secondary Measures

  • Daily supine blood pressure
    • Time Frame: Daily in week 1 up to and including week 7
    • Supine blood pressure (mmHg) measured every morning directly after awakening before getting out of bed
  • Orthostatic blood pressure
    • Time Frame: Measured six times: in-clinic (T0; pre-intervention), in week 1, 3, 5 and 7, and in-clinic on the day after week 7 ends (T1; post-intervention)
    • Standing orthostatic blood pressure test (mmHg). Measured in clinic and home-based guided by a researcher via video call.
  • 24h ABPM parameters
    • Time Frame: In week 1, 3, 5 and 7
    • 24h ABPM parameters blood pressure variability (mmHg), nocturnal blood pressure dipping (mmHg) and average daytime blood pressure (mmHg). Each of these measures will be derived from the 24 hour blood pressure measurements, and reported separately.
  • Orthostatic tolerance
    • Time Frame: Week 1, 3, 5 and 7
    • Self-reported burden of symptoms of orthostatic hypotension (Orthostatic hypotension questionnaire (OHQ)). The score ranges from 0 to 100, with a higher number meaning worse symptoms of orthostatic hypotension.
  • Nocturia
    • Time Frame: Week 1, 3, 5 and 7
    • Self-reported frequency of daytime and night time urination and impact on quality of life (International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Nocturia Module (ICIQ-N))
  • Subjective comfort of HUTS (head up tilted sleeping)
    • Time Frame: Week 1, 3, 5 and 7
    • Self-reported tolerability of the head up tilted sleeping at different angles including questions about sleep duration, sleep quality and comfort, and feeling rested in the morning.
  • Falls
    • Time Frame: Week 1, 3, 5 and 7
    • Self-reported falls and in case of a fall additional questions about the time and circumstances
  • Overnight change in body weight
    • Time Frame: Daily in week 1 up to and including week 7
    • Weight (kg) difference between the evening and the morning, both measured after micturition
  • Nighttime urine production
    • Time Frame: Week 1, 3, 5 and 7
    • Urine volume measured in a urinal (ml)
  • Barriers and facilitators of the intervention
    • Time Frame: Immediately post-intervention (day after week 7, T1)
    • Structured interview

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Orthostatic hypotension defined as a systolic BP decrease of ≥20 mmHg, or a diastolic decrease of ≥10 mmHg, within 3 min after changing from a supine to standing position OR mean standing BP of ≤75 mmHg (marker for symptomatic orthostatic hypotension). In patients with supine hypertension, a decrease in systolic BP of ≥ 30 mmHg is required; – Orthostatic intolerance: direct complaints (dizziness, blurry vision, etc.) and/or indirect signs (falls or freezing episodes that relate to postural challenge); – Supine hypertension defined as a systolic BP of ≥140 mmHg, and/or diastolic of ≥90 mmHg, after 5 min of supine rest; – Idiopathic PD; – Ability to walk (with or without a walking aid), as subjectively determined by the researcher; – Stable medication regimens for orthostatic hypotension and supine hypertension during the trial; Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inability to follow instructions and complete questionnaires, as assessed by the researcher;

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Radboud University Medical Center
  • Collaborator
    • Leiden University Medical Center
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Roland D Thijs, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, Leiden University Medical Center
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Amber van der Stam, MSc, +31 6 29677748, Amber.vanderStam@radboudumc.nl

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