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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder clinical trials at UCSD

18 in progress, 13 open to eligible people

Showing trials for
  • A Comparison of Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Pharmacotherapy, and Their Combination for PTSD

    open to eligible people ages 18-75

    Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) remains a salient and debilitating problem, in the general population and for military veterans in particular. Several psychological and pharmacological treatments for PTSD have evidence to support their efficacy. However, the lack of comparative effectiveness data for PTSD treatments remains a major gap in the literature, which limits conclusions that can be drawn about which of these treatments work best. The current study will compare the effectiveness of PTSD treatments with the strongest evidentiary support - Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy and pharmacotherapy with paroxetine or venlafaxine - as well as the combination of these two treatments. A randomized trial will be conducted with a large, diverse sample of veterans with PTSD (N = 450) recruited from 6 VA Medical Centers throughout the US. Participants will complete baseline assessments, followed by an active treatment phase (involving up to 14 sessions of PE and/or medication management) with mid (7 week) and posttreatment (14 week) assessments, and follow-up assessments at 27 and 40 weeks. Study outcomes will include PTSD severity, depression, quality of life and functioning, assessed via clinical ratings and self-report measures. Further, a range of demographic and clinically relevant variables (e.g., trauma type/number, resilience) will be collected at baseline and examined as potential predictors or moderators of treatment response, addressing another gap in the PTSD treatment literature. These data will be used to develop algorithms from predicting the optimal treatment for individual patients (i.e., "personalized advantage indices"; PAIs). Effectiveness of the treatments will be compared using multilevel modeling. PAIs will be developed by conducting bootstrapped analyses to select variables that predict or moderate outcomes (clinician rated PTSD severity at Week 14), followed by jacknife analyses to determine the magnitude of the predicted difference (representing an individual's "predicted advantage" of one treatment over the others).

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • Cannabidiol and Prolonged Exposure

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    The trial will include a randomized control trial to evaluate the efficacy of using Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, as an adjunctive to Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE). The trial will compare PE + CBD to PE + placebo in a sample of 136 military Veterans with PTSD at the VA San Diego Medical Center. The study represents the logical and innovative next step for augmenting existing treatments and developing novel pharmacotherapy for PTSD. Findings from the proposed RCT will inform clinical practice and policy by investigating whether administration of CBD in the context of PE therapy will improve treatment outcomes for military Veterans with PTSD.

    San Diego, California

  • Cognitive Training for PTSD

    open to eligible people ages 21-55

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic, disabling condition that occurs in a subgroup of individuals after experiencing traumatic stress, and is common in Veterans seeking mental health treatment at the VA. Although evidence-based psychosocial treatments exist for PTSD, a substantial portion of individuals do not fully respond to treatment. Thus, there is a clear need to continue researching novel interventions for PTSD in Veterans. Recently, new interventions for mental health disorders have utilized computerized cognitive training techniques in order to improve the functioning of cognitive systems and reduce symptoms. This type of intervention, often referred to as neurotherapeutics, may hold promise for PTSD as a method for ameliorating symptoms and improving cognition. Individuals with PTSD demonstrate difficulties with cognitive control functions, which appear to be causally implicated in symptoms of the disorder (e.g., intrusive trauma-related memories). To date the efficacy of neurotherapeutics for PTSD has been understudied in Veterans. The current proposal aims to bridge research on basic neurocognitive mechanisms of PTSD with intervention research by conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a cognitive control training program in 80 Veterans with PTSD. Veterans will complete computer-based training exercises designed to specifically target and improve aspects of cognitive control. Veterans will complete the program twice per week for eight weeks. Symptoms will be assessed before and after treatment, as well as at a two month follow up time point. The primary goal of the study is to examine the effect of the intervention on PTSD symptoms and cognitive deficits. Evaluating symptom change as a result of the intervention will provide critical data regarding the utility of this program as a PTSD treatment. If effective, this training program could serve as alternative treatment option for Veterans with PTSD, and could be translated into an easily transportable intervention for dissemination (e.g., through web-based platforms). A secondary goal is to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to better understand the mechanisms by which cognitive training culminates in symptom reduction. If training cognitive control with neurotherapeutics directly enhances functioning of specific neural substrates as hypothesized, improvements in affective processes relying on shared neural regions would also be predicted. Modifying functioning in these substrates with training may thus reduce symptoms by improving neural functioning while processing and managing trauma-related affect and information. Neural systems used for cognitive control targeted in the training described (e.g., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [dlPFC]) are also recruited when individuals mentally manipulate emotional information, such as when individuals use reappraisal to change the way that they think about negative emotional situations or content. In this study, Veterans will complete a neutral cognitive control task and a reappraisal task while undergoing fMRI before and after completing the training treatment. This will be the first study to evaluate neurobiological mechanisms of this type of training in PTSD, which is a fundamental next step for understanding how to improve the training program and who may be best served by completing it.

    San Diego, California

  • Compassion Meditation vs. Health Education for Veterans

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    Chronic pain (CP) is a major health problem for military Veterans, and CP is often associated with comorbid mental health problems, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. CP with psychological comorbidity is associated with increased healthcare costs, medication use, risk of suicide and rates of disability and reduced quality of life. Current empirically supported treatments do not always lead to substantial improvements (up to 50% of patients drop out or are do not respond to treatment). This project was designed to evaluate the efficacy of a novel intervention for addressing these challenges. Compassion meditation (CM), a meditative practice that focuses on the wish to remove suffering, is a contemplative practice that has promise for the amelioration of physical and mental health problems as well as promoting positive affect and improving quality of life. This study will evaluate the efficacy of Cognitively-Based Compassion Training for Chronic Pain with Psychological Comorbidity (CBCT-CP+) compared to Health Education while Living with Pain (H.E.L.P.) control condition, in a sample of among Veterans with CP conditions and psychological comorbidity.

    San Diego, California

  • Effectiveness and Implementation of eScreening in Post 9/11 Transition Programs

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    Electronic screening is effective for timely detection of, and intervention for, suicidal ideation and other mental health symptoms. The VA eScreening program is a patient self-report electronic screening system that has shown promise for the efficient and effective collection of mental and physical health information among Veterans. However, additional effectiveness and implementation research is warranted to evaluate the impact of eScreening within VHA. This study will address questions of the impact of eScreening compared to screening as usual, while evaluating a multi-component implementation strategy (MCIS) for optimal enterprise rollout of eScreening in VA Transition Care Management clinics.

    San Diego, California

  • Enhancing Transdiagnostic Mechanisms of Cognitive Dyscontrol

    open to eligible people ages 21-55

    The proposed project aims to test the cognitive and neural effects of a cognitive training in a sample of individuals seeking treatment for anxiety, depression, or traumatic stress symptoms. Participants will be randomly assigned to a high dose, low dose, or assessment only condition. Participants will be compared on cognitive performance and brain response during cognitive tasks from baseline to post-treatment.

    San Diego, California

  • National Adaptive Trial for PTSD Related Insomnia

    open to eligible people ages 18-75

    Many Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have trouble sleeping or have frequent nightmares. So far, no medication has been approved for treatment of insomnia in PTSD. The purpose of this research study is to find out if taking medications called trazodone, eszopiclone, or gabapentin can help decrease symptoms of insomnia in patients with PTSD. PTSD is a form of intense anxiety which sometimes results from severe trauma. Symptoms may include nightmares, flashbacks, troublesome memories, difficulty sleeping, poor concentration, irritability, anger, and emotional withdrawal. Insomnia is a disorder that can make it hard to fall sleep, stay asleep or cause a person to wake up too early and not be able to fall back to sleep.

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • Psychotherapy for PTSD Among Veterans Also Receiving Drug or Alcohol Treatment

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    Many people who have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also struggle with problematic alcohol or drug use (substance use disorders [SUD]). Patients with both conditions prefer PTSD be treated alongside SUD. However, clinicians don't know if treatments that have been found to help those with PTSD work as well for people who also have SUD. This often leads to delaying PTSD treatment or using psychotherapies without research support. Trauma-focused psychotherapy (TFT) is the type of psychotherapy for PTSD that has been studied most often among people with both PTSD and SUD. It reduces symptoms of PTSD and substance use, although it might not work as well in those who have SUD as those who do not. Further, many patients with both PTSD and SUD do not complete TFT. Another strategy for treating PTSD is non-trauma-focused psychotherapy (NTFT). One NTFT, Present Centered Therapy, has been found to reduce symptoms of PTSD and more patients are able to complete NTFT than are able to finish TFT. However, no one has studied how well Present Centered Therapy works among patients who also have SUD. We will test which approach (TFT of NTFT) is better for reducing symptoms of PTSD and which is more likely to be completed by patients with both PTSD and SUD at VA healthcare facilities. We will also test to see whether some participants did better than others, so we can learn how to individualize treatment recommendations to patients. Participants will be assigned by chance to either TFT of NTFT. Patients assigned to TFT will receive either Prolonged Exposure or Cognitive Processing Therapy; both are weekly psychotherapies focused on addressing thoughts and/or memories related to their trauma. Those assigned to NTFT will receive Present Centered Therapy, a weekly psychotherapy in which patients learn about how PTSD relates to their current difficulties and problem solve current life difficulties. All participants will also receive SUD treatment. Participants will answer questions about their symptoms and experience with treatment before, right after they finish, and three and six months after they finish PTSD treatment. At the end of the study we will compare which treatment approach worked better to decrease PTSD symptom severity and which treatment patients were better able to complete. We will also track other outcomes that are important to patients (e.g., how they are doing in their relationships).

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • Sequenced Treatment Effectiveness for Posttraumatic Stress

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    Individuals with PTSD are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as tobacco use, drug use, alcohol misuse, and have high rates of morbidity/mortality. PTSD negatively impacts marriages, educational attainment, and occupational functioning. Some patients with PTSD can be successfully referred to specialty mental health clinics, but most patients with PTSD cannot engage in specialty care because of geographical, financial and cultural barriers and must be treated in primary care. However, policy makers do not know the best way to treat PTSD in primary care clinics, especially for patients who do not respond to the initial treatment choice. There are effective treatments for PTSD that are feasible to deliver in primary care. These treatments include commonly prescribed antidepressants and brief exposure-based therapies. However, because there are no head-to-head comparisons between pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy in primary care settings, primary care providers do not know which treatments to recommend to their patients. In addition, despite high treatment non-response rates, very few studies have examined which treatment should be recommend next when patients do not respond well to the first, and no such studies have been conducted in primary care settings. This trial will be conducted in Federally Qualified Health Centers and VA Medical Centers, where the prevalence of both past trauma exposure and PTSD are particularly high. The investigators will enroll 700 primary care patients. The investigators propose to 1) compare outcomes among patients randomized to initially receive pharmacotherapy or brief psychotherapy, 2) compare outcomes among patients randomized to treatment sequences (i.e., switching and augmenting) for patients not responding to the initial treatment and 3) examine variation in treatment outcomes among different subgroups of patients. Telephone and web surveys will be used to assessed outcomes important to patients, like self-reported symptom burden, side-effects, health related quality of life, and recovery outcomes, at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Results will help patients and primary care providers choose which treatment to try first and which treatment to try second if the first is not effective.

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • Topiramate and Prolonged Exposure

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently co-occur, and having both disorders is associated with greater psychological and functional impairment than having either disorder alone. The most effective PTSD treatment, prolonged exposure (PE) is sometimes less effective when individuals also have AUD. Anti-relapse medication appears promising to improve the effectiveness of PE to help individuals reduce alcohol use and PTSD symptoms and improve functioning. This study compares PE with and without topiramate, a medication shown to both reduce drinking and PTSD symptoms, with the hypothesis that combined PE and topiramate will be more effective than PE and placebo. The aim of this grant is to improve treatment outcomes for Veterans with AUD and PTSD.

    San Diego, California

  • Trauma Informed Guilt Reduction Therapy

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    The goal of this project is to determine if a 6-session psychotherapy intervention will help Veterans feel less deployment-related guilt and less distress related to their guilt. Half of the participants will receive the guilt focused intervention and half will receive a supportive intervention. A supplemental pilot study added in FY2021 will examine the intervention for pandemic-related guilt events.

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • Yoga and Physical Activity for Veterans

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a major health problem for the nation's Veterans, leading to significant physical and mental health morbidity and mortality. Current empirically-supported interventions ameliorate symptoms but generally do not restore full functioning, so the development of alternative or complementary approaches is a critical need. Large numbers of Veterans are seeking out yoga as a part of their recovery plans, but there is not enough evidence to recommend yoga for treatment of PTSD. Likely reflecting this heterogeneity, evidence of yoga's efficacy is highly variable. This project aims to address this problem by comparing the effect of yoga to a matched exercise control condition. The study will also explore the mechanisms by which yoga impacts PTSD. Ultimately, the goal of this research would be to contribute to integrative care planning, whereby multiple approaches can be applied in a synergistic manner to restore wellness for Veterans affected by PTSD.

    San Diego, California

  • Optimizing Cognitive Remediation

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    Veterans with mental illness face challenges with community reintegration, including achieving vocational success, attaining their educational goals and going back to school, and maintaining a high quality of life. VA Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs, Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Centers and other mental health treatment programs are designed to help Veterans overcome these barriers, but cognitive impairment often seen in Veterans with mental illness limits gains from these settings. Cognitive remediation interventions can be helpful, but they are either "one-size fits all," and thus may not be useful for all Veterans with mental illness, or are too narrow in scope, focusing on specific mental illnesses, limiting generalizability. This project will test whether an objective neurophysiological biomarker, mismatch negativity (MMN), can better match the "right" Veteran to the "right" cognitive remediation treatment regardless of their specific mental health diagnosis.

    San Diego, California

  • Brief Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for PTSD With Adjunctive Intranasal Oxytocin

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    In 2019 VA mandated that all Veterans seeking mental health care have access to flexible family mental health services in VA (VHA directive 1163.04). This study aims to respond to this mandate by further improving an evidence-based PTSD treatment designed to decrease PTSD symptoms and improve relationship satisfaction for Veterans and their romantic partners. Brief Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (B-CBCT), an 8-session dyadic psychotherapy for PTSD, has been found to significantly reduce PTSD symptoms, but the effects of B-CBCT on relationship satisfaction are less reliable and robust. Pharmacological augmentation of psychotherapy utilizing intranasal oxytocin, a neurohormone that influences mechanisms of trauma recovery and social behavior, may help improve relationship satisfaction outcomes. If successful, the proposed study will advance knowledge of strategies for improving Veterans' quality of life by improving their intimate relationships along with PTSD symptoms.

    San Diego, California

  • Electrical Vestibular Nerve Stimulation (VeNS) as a Treatment for PTSD

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    Trial tile: A Randomized, Double Blind Sham Controlled Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy of Electrical Vestibular Nerve Stimulation (VeNS), Compared to a Sham Control for Treatment of PTSD The aim of this study: To better evaluate the efficacy of non-invasive electrical vestibular nerve stimulation (VeNS) as a method of treating PTSD, as compared to a sham control. Allocation: Randomized to either active device or control device usage. Endpoint classification: Efficacy Study Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment in 1:1 active to control allocation Sample size: The aim is to recruit a total of 100 participants. The study will last 12 weeks in total for each subject.

  • OSA PAP Treatment for Veterans With SUD and PTSD on Residential Treatment Unit

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    Substance use disorder (SUD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently co-occur and having both disorders is associated with greater psychological and functional impairment than having either disorder alone. This is especially true in residential settings where both disorders are more severe than outpatient settings. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is highly comorbid with both disorders and untreated OSA is associated with worse functional impairment across multiple domains, worse quality of life, worse PTSD, higher suicidal ideation, and higher substance use and relapse rates. Treating OSA with evidence-based positive airway pressure (PAP) in Veterans with SUD/PTSD on a residential unit is a logical way to maximize treatment adherence and treatment outcomes. This study compares OSA treatment while on a SUD/PTSD residential unit to a waitlist control group. The investigators hypothesize that treating OSA on the residential unit, compared to the waitlist control, will have better functional, SUD, and PTSD outcomes.

    San Diego, California

  • Genomics of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as a common and serious mental health condition, affects about 25% of all military personnel that have served in combat. People suffering from PTSD may experience traumatic flashbacks, trouble sleeping, and problems in their relationships. This study is intended to help identify genes that influence and increase the risk of PTSD, to improve ways of detecting and treating the condition in the future. Previous research has studied genes that increase the risk of PTSD, but none of these have included a Veteran-only population. The current study focuses on US Veterans, utilizing the VA Million Veteran Program (MVP) database of approximately 300,000 participants as of August 2014. In this context, participants with PTSD are referred to as "cases" and Veterans without PTSD are referred to as "controls." This project will be done in three stages. The first stage will look at MVP-obtained data and electronic health record (EHR) data to implement methods for identifying combat-exposed case patients with PTSD and combat-exposed control patients without PTSD. The second stage will assemble and validate a study population of 20,000 participants "including 10,000 combat-exposed Veterans with PTSD as cases and 10,000 combat-exposed Veterans without PTSD as controls. The third stage will conduct genetic analyses ("genotyping") comparing the cases to controls, to identify genes associated with increased risk of developing the condition.

    San Diego, California

  • Latent Structure of Multi-level Assessments and Predictors of Outcomes for Women in Recovery

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    In this study the investigators will seek to improve their understanding of how positive and negative valence systems, cognition, and arousal/interoception are inter-related in disorders of trauma, mood, substance use, and eating behavior for women involved in a court diversion program in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Women in Recovery). The investigators will recruit 100 individuals and use a wide range of assessment tools, neuroimaging measures, blood and microbiome collections and behavioral tasks to complete the baseline and follow-up study visits. Upon completion, the investigators aim to have robust and reliable dimensional measures that quantify these systems and a set of assessments that should be recommended as a clinical tool to enhance outcome prediction for the clinician and assist in determining who will likely benefit from the diversion program, and to inform future revision or augmentation of the program to increase treatment effectiveness.

Our lead scientists for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder research studies include .

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