Statistical Analysis Plan for the Motor Neuron Disease Systematic Multi-Arm Adaptive Randomised Trial (MND-SMART)

Richard A Parker*, Christopher J Weir, Tra My Pham, Ian White, Nigel Stallard, Mahesh Parmer, Robert Swingler, Rachel S. Dakin, Suvankar Pal, Siddharthan Chandran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: MND-SMART is a platform, multi-arm, multi-stage, multi-centre, randomised controlled trial recruiting people with motor neuron disease. Initially, the treatments memantine and trazodone will each be compared against placebo, but other investigational treatments will be introduced into the trial later. The co-primary outcomes are the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale Revised (ALS-FRS-R) functional outcome, which is assessed longitudinally, and overall survival.

METHODS: Initially in MND-SMART, participants are randomised 1:1:1 via a minimisation algorithm to receive placebo or one of the two investigational treatments with up to 531 to be randomised in total. The comparisons between each research arm and placebo will be conducted in four stages, with the opportunity to cease further randomisations to poorly performing research arms at the end of stages 1 or 2. The final ALS-FRS-R analysis will be at the end of stage 3 and final survival analysis at the end of stage 4. The estimands for the co-primary outcomes are described in detail. The primary analysis of ALS-FRS-R at the end of stages 1 to 3 will involve fitting a normal linear mixed model to the data to calculate a mean difference in rate of ALS-FRS-R change between each research treatment and placebo. The pairwise type 1 error rate will be controlled, because each treatment comparison will generate its own distinct and separate interpretation. This publication is based on a formal statistical analysis plan document that was finalised and signed on 18 May 2022.

DISCUSSION: In developing the statistical analysis plan, we had to carefully consider several issues such as multiple testing, estimand specification, interim analyses, and statistical analysis of the repeated measurements of ALS-FRS-R. This analysis plan attempts to balance multiple factors, including minimisation of bias, maximising power and precision, and deriving clinically interpretable summaries of treatment effects.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT Number, 2019-000099-41. Registered 2 October 2019,, NCT04302870 . Registered 10 March 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Pages (from-to)29
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Motor Neuron Disease/diagnosis
  • Therapies, Investigational
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • Treatment Outcome


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