Skip to main content

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders clinical trials at UCSD
22 in progress, 12 open to new patients

  • A Controlled Trial of Losartan in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    open to eligible people ages 18-70

    This study is being conducted to determine if losartan, an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), is safe and effective in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The study is also intended to determine if certain genetic markers are useful in predicting PTSD symptom reduction with losartan. Approximately 160 subjects with chronic PTSD ages 18-65 will participate in this study across five sites. Subjects will be assigned by chance to take either flexibly dosed losartan (up to a maximum dosage of 100 mg) or placebo (which resembles the study drug but has no active ingredients), once a day for 10 weeks. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that CC homozygotes for rs4311 SNP in the ACE gene will have a superior response to losartan on PTSD symptoms compared to T carriers.

    La Jolla, California and other locations

  • A Safety & Efficacy Study With Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    open to eligible people ages 22-68

    The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Brainsway Deep TMS (DTMS) for the treatment of PTSD.

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • Adaptive Disclosure

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    The primary objective of this randomized controlled non-inferiority trial is to determine whether or not Adaptive Disclosure (AD), a new combat-specific psychotherapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is as least as effective as Cognitive Processing Therapy, cognitive only version (CPT-C), in terms of its impact on deployment-related psychological health problems (specifically PTSD and depression) and functioning.

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT) Project

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    Untreated posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a costly condition associated with impairment in functioning across a host of psychosocial domains including occupational and academic functioning, marital and family functioning, parenting, and socialization. Impairment is not limited to Veterans with PTSD because the entire family is affected, particularly the Veteran's intimate partner. PTSD symptoms can produce negative effects on both members of the dyad. Despite the need for treatment, many Veterans and their families do not access PTSD-related services due to a number of barriers to accessing care (e.g., living in rural or remote areas where no specialty services exist, concerns about stigma around using mental health services, limited clinic hours to accommodate patient schedules). The objective of this study is to assess whether providing Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy, in which PTSD symptoms and intimate relationship functioning are addressed, to Veterans and their romantic partners in their homes via clinical video teleconferencing leads to better outcomes compared to office based treatment.

    San Diego, California

  • Compassion Meditation for PTSD

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    The goal of this project is to refine an existing compassion meditation protocol for individuals with PTSD, to examine the safety and feasibility of this approach and to collect data to make initial estimates of efficacy.

    San Diego, California

  • In-Home Exposure Therapy for Veterans With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    This study will provide a certain type of exposure therapy, called prolonged exposure therapy (PE), to military Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One hundred and seventy-five Veterans will participate in the study. The main study goal is to compare PE conducted in three different ways: (1) PE that is office-based (OB; Veterans come to a VA clinic and meet with a therapist via telehealth, using videoconferencing technology), (2) PE delivered via home-based telehealth (HBT; Veterans stay at home and meet with the therapist via telehealth, using videoconferencing technology), and (3) PE delivered in home, in person (IHIP; the therapist goes to the Veterans' homes to provide the psychotherapy). Symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety will be examined at pre-treatment, post-treatment and at six-month follow up to determine if symptoms change over time. Study hypotheses state that the IHIP approach, compared to the other two approaches, will be more effective at reducing the PTSD symptoms experienced by these Veterans because it will help Veterans attend each session and complete the therapy "homework" assigned by the therapists (such as doing feared, but safe, activities around the house or the neighborhood). However, the delivery of IHIP may cost more than the delivery of PE via the other modalities.

    San Diego, California

  • Integrated CBT-I and PE on Sleep and PTSD Outcomes (Impact Study)

    open to eligible people ages 19 years and up

    This study aims to examine whether integrating insomnia and PTSD treatment will enhance sleep, PTSD, and quality of life outcomes. This is a randomized control trial comparing integrated evidence based CBT-I into PE (CBTI-PE) versus to a non-active sleep component plus PE (hygiene-PE) to optimize PTSD, sleep, and quality of life outcomes in 90 Veterans. Such benefits would further the VA's commitment to improving the mental health, recovery, and community reintegration of Veterans detailed in the 2014-2020 VHA Strategic Plan. Findings from the proposed study offer a unique opportunity to determine the malleability of mechanisms (e.g., Total sleep time, Sleep efficiency) that can improve recovery outcomes among this vulnerable population and to inform future treatment development and research. Improved PTSD, insomnia, and quality of life outcomes can decrease risk of chronic impairment and ultimately help affected Veterans live richer, more productive lives.

    San Diego, California

  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation After Moral Injury and Loss With Adaptive Disclosure

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    The aim of this study is to determine the efficacy of Adaptive Disclosure for Moral Injury and Loss (AD-MIL), a combat-specific psychotherapy for war-related PTSD stemming from Moral Injury (MI) and traumatic loss (TL) with Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans with PTSD. AD-MIL will be compared to Present Centered Therapy (PCT). AD-MIL is a modified version of Adaptive Disclosure (AD), which has been modified and extended to solely treat MI and TL by targeting psychological and behavioral obstacles to occupational, relationship, and family functioning, as well as quality of life. PCT is a manualized evidenced-based PTSD treatment used in several large-scale PTSD trials. The primary end-point is psychosocial functioning (improvements in social, educational and occupational functions and improvements in quality of life). Secondary end-points include PTSD, depression, and shame and guilt. The investigators will also explore the impact of AD-MIL on anger and aggressive behaviors, suicidal ideation, and alcohol abuse.

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • TOP Implementation Project

    open to eligible people ages 18-99

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provides care to 3.3 million Veterans living in rural areas, comprising 36% of all VHA enrollees. In 1995, VHA began expanding its system of Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) in order to improve access for the geographically dispersed Veteran population. There are now approximately 900 CBOCs delivering a range of services to approximately 64% of VHA enrollees. While these CBOCs have dramatically improved access to first class primary care services, it has been more challenging to deliver specialty mental health care to rural Veterans. Evidence based specialty mental care practices developed for large VA Medical Centers are often not feasible to deploy in small CBOCs and thus not accessible to rural Veterans. Rural Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treated at CBOCs experience little to no improvement in their symptoms over time. A major contributor of poor PTSD outcomes is that trauma-focused evidence-based psychotherapy is not being provided to Veterans in the CBOC setting. Moreover, travel barriers prevent most rural Veterans from receiving trauma-focused evidence-based psychotherapy at large VHA Medical Centers (VAMC). Telemedicine Outreach for PTSD (TOP) is a technology-facilitated virtual care clinical intervention that is designed to enhance access to evidence based psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. The VHA Office of Rural Health and Office of Connected Health and Telehealth Services intend to deploy the TOP intervention nationally. This project will lay the ground work for this national implementation initiative. The goal of this implementation project is to support the national deployment of the TOP intervention and evaluate its clinical effectiveness in routine care. The specific aims are to compare the cost and effectiveness of alternative implementation strategies to promote uptake of TOP and assess impact on access and PTSD outcomes. The project will be conducted at 6 VAMCs and affiliated CBOCs without on-site psychologists trained in trauma-focused evidence-based psychotherapy. The total anticipated sample size will be 600. The TOP clinical intervention is delivered by a virtual care team comprising a CBOC provider, and a telephone care manager, telepsychologist and telepsychiatrist located at the VAMC. The telephone care managers will coordinates care. The telepsychologists will deliver of trauma-focused evidence-based therapy. The telepsychiatrists will provide psychiatric consultation. The standard VA implementation strategy will follow standard procedures for deploy clinical practices in the VA include disseminating support materials, providing technical assistance and transfer funds to hire clinical personnel. The enhanced implementation strategy will add external facilitation to the standard VA implementation strategies. External facilitation will begin with an assessment of the current workflow at the VHA Medical Center and the affiliated CBOCs. The external facilitation team will then generate a clinical workflow chart that describes the current process of care. With advice from the external facilitation team, local staff will then incorporate the clinical process of the TOP intervention into the current clinical workflow chart. The project will compare the standard VA implementation strategy to the enhanced implementation strategy. All VAMCs will receive the enhanced implementation strategy if they need it, but the time period during which they will receive the enhanced implementation strategy will be randomized. This will allow us to determine whether more patients are reached by the TOP intervention during standard implementation compared to enhanced implementation. This design will also allow us to document improvements in perceived access and PTSD outcomes for patients at sites that successfully implement the TOP intervention. Data will be collected from patient survey and chart review for all patients sampled for the evaluation. Participating patients will complete a baseline survey and 3 follow-up surveys. The reach implementation outcome measure will be specified as the proportion of sampled patients who received the TOP intervention. PTSD outcomes will be specified as a continuous change in patient self-reported symptom severity between baseline and follow-up. Perceived access will be measured using items specifically developed for the project. Provider adoption will be assessed with qualitative interviews of all CBOC clinicians treating a sampled patient as well as members of the TOP intervention team. Costs - The investigators will measure the cost of both implementation strategies both prospectively and retrospectively. The investigators will collect data on implementation activities during both the standard VA and enhanced implementation strategies.

    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

  • Transcranial Electrical Stimulation for mTBI

    open to eligible people ages 18-55

    Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a leading cause of sustained physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral deficits in OEF/OIF/OND Veterans and the general public. However, the underlying pathophysiology is not completely understood, and there are few effective treatments for post-concussive symptoms (PCS). In addition, there are substantial overlaps between PCS and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in mTBI. IASIS is among a class of passive neurofeedback treatments that combine low-intensity pulses for transcranial electrical stimulation (LIP-tES) with electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring. LIP-tES techniques have shown promising results in alleviating PCS individuals with TBI. However, the neural mechanisms underlying the effects of LIP-tES treatment in TBI are unknown, owing to the dearth of neuroimaging investigations of this therapeutic intervention. Conventional neuroimaging techniques such as MRI and CT have limited sensitivity in detecting physiological abnormalities caused by mTBI, or in assessing the efficacy of mTBI treatments. In acute and chronic phases, CT and MRI are typically negative even in mTBI patients with persistent PCS. In contrast, evidence is mounting in support of resting-state magnetoencephalography (rs-MEG) slow-wave source imaging (delta-band, 1-4 Hz) as a marker for neuronal abnormalities in mTBI. The primary goal of the present application is to use rs-MEG to identify the neural underpinnings of behavioral changes associated with IASIS treatment in Veterans with mTBI. Using a double-blind placebo controlled design, the investigators will study changes in abnormal MEG slow-waves before and after IASIS treatment (relative to a 'sham' treatment group) in Veterans with mTBI. In addition, the investigators will examine treatment-related changes in PCS, PTSD symptoms, neuropsychological test performances, and their association with changes in MEG slow-waves. The investigators for the first time will address a fundamental question about the mechanism of slow-waves in brain injury, namely whether slow-wave generation in wakefulness is merely a negative consequence of neuronal injury or if it is a signature of ongoing neuronal rearrangement and healing that occurs at the site of the injury. Specific Aim 1 will detect the loci of injury in Veterans with mTBI and assess the mechanisms underlying functional neuroimaging changes related to IASIS treatment using rs-MEG slow-wave source imaging. The investigators hypothesize that MEG slow-wave source imaging will show significantly higher sensitivity than conventional MRI in identifying the loci of injury on a single-subject basis. The investigators also hypothesize that in wakefulness, slow-wave generation is a signature of ongoing neural rearrangement / healing, rather than a negative consequence of neuronal injury. Furthermore, the investigators hypothesize IASIS will ultimately reduce abnormal MEG slow-wave generation in mTBI by the end of the treatment course, owing to the accomplishment of neural rearrangement / healing. Specific Aim 2 will examine treatment-related changes in PCS and PTSD symptoms in Veterans with mTBI. The investigators hypothesize that compared with the sham group, mTBI Veterans in the IASIS treatment group will show significantly greater decreases in PCS and PTSD symptoms between baseline and post-treatment assessments. Specific Aim 3 will study the relationship among IASIS treatment-related changes in rs-MEG slow-wave imaging, PCS, and neuropsychological measures in Veterans with mTBI. The investigators hypothesize that Reduced MEG slow-wave generation will correlate with reduced total PCS score, individual PCS scores (e.g., sleep disturbance, post-traumatic headache, photophobia, and memory problem symptoms), and improved neuropsychological exam scores between post-IASIS and baseline exams. The success of the proposed research will for the first time confirm that facilitation of slow-wave generation in wakefulness leads to significant therapeutic benefits in mTBI, including an ultimate reduction of abnormal slow-waves accompanied by an improvement in PCS and cognitive functioning.

    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.

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • Cannabidiol and Prolonged Exposure

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    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

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    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

  • Connecting Women to Care: Home-based Psychotherapy for Women With MST Living in Rural Areas

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    Military sexual trauma (MST) is a common duty-related stressor which occurs among one in four female Veterans and is associated with substantial concerns about social isolation and high rates of PTSD. Women with MST also experience numerous person-level barriers to care including the desire to avoid male-dominated VA clinics, transportation difficulties and childcare responsibilities. Treatment programs that address the social and mental health needs of this population and acknowledge barriers to care that disproportionately affect women are lacking. The proposed study will use a hybrid effectiveness-implementation design to evaluate the in-home delivery of a gender-sensitive, evidence-based coping skills program to improve social and role functioning as well as reduce PTSD and will prioritize enrolling rural women in a representative manner. If the program is found to be successful at improving social functioning and PTSD, and in reducing barriers to care, it will provide a tremendous benefit to women Veterans with MST, particularly those in rural areas.

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • Enhancement of PTSD Treatment With Computerized Executive Function Training

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    This study focuses on helping Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) benefit fully from therapy by first enhancing their thinking abilities. PTSD has been associated with thinking problems, including difficulty planning/organizing, thinking flexibly, and inhibiting distracting emotional information. There is some evidence that computerized training programs are helpful for improving thinking. Therefore, this study tests whether computerized cognitive training will in fact improve individuals' thinking abilities and if this will in turn improve PTSD treatment outcomes and lead to more individuals completing treatment and showing greater improvements in emotional symptoms and quality of life than standard therapy (when paired with a word training condition).

    San Diego, California

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Arousal Threshold in Patients With Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

    Sorry, currently not accepting new patients, but might later

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has traditionally been attributed only to a collapsible upper airway. However, it is increasingly recognized that multiple additional non-anatomical mechanisms contribute to the disease. Higher rates of OSA in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than in those without PTSD have been reported however the mechanism behind this increased prevalence has not been investigated. Our hypothesis is that patients with PTSD have a predisposition to OSA due to a lower respiratory arousal threshold (wake up too easily) than patients without PTSD. The goal of this project will be to study and compare the ArTH in patients with PTSD and those without. In addition, we plan to see whether medications can be used to increase the arousal threshold and treat OSA in patients with PTSD.

    San Diego, California

  • Yoga and Physical Activity for Veterans

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    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 no standardization of yoga protocols. Likely reflecting this heterogeneity, evidence of yoga's efficacy is highly variable. This project aims to address this problem by elucidating the mechanisms by which yoga impacts PTSD, thereby guiding the development of standards for yoga for 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

  • A Study of Brain Aging in Vietnam War Veterans

    Sorry, not currently recruiting here

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common combat related problems and may be associated with a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The purpose of this study is to examine the possible connections between TBI and PTSD, and the signs and symptoms of AD on Veterans as they age. The information collected will help to learn more about how these injuries may affect Veterans of the Vietnam War as they grow older, as well as Veterans of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who also have these types of combat related injuries.

    La Jolla, California and other locations

  • Collaborative Care for Women Veterans

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    Implementation of Tailored Collaborative Care for Women Veterans (CCWV) is designed to enhance primary care-mental health integration for women Veterans, by tailoring services to women Veterans' and providers' needs and providing an evidence-based intervention, Coordinated Anxiety Learning and Management, to address anxiety and depression in a patient-centered approach. CCWV will be implemented in four of the Women's Health Practice-Based Research Network sites, with careful attention to local tailoring and adaptation to enhance the fit of the care model in varied local contexts.

    San Diego, California and other locations

  • 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, accepting new patients by invitation only

    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.