Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Programs

 

Attention Bias Modification Treatment Study for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (IRB#6688)

*Currently Recruiting Participants- Call 646-774-8104 for more information

Principal Investigator: Yuval Neria , MD

Overview of the Study:

Emerging research implicates biased attention to threat in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. Recent findings demonstrate significant associations between attention bias and stress vulnerability.  This work has motivated the development of a novel therapy, attention-bias-modification treatment (ABMT). ABMT is designed to implicitly modify patients' biased threat attendance via computerized training protocols. The present study is a double blind trial that seeks to examine efficacy of ABMT in individuals with PTSD.  Participants with PTSD and attention bias towards or away from threat (documented by dot probe task), will undergo a 4-week (8-sessions) course of ABMT or an inactive Comparison Training Program (CTP).  Attention bias will be measured before and after treatment.

 

To schedule a confidential screening, please call Katharine Reiner at 646-774-8104.

Hippocampal Sub-region Function in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-An fMRI study (#6650)

*Currently Recruiting Participants- Call 646-774-8104 for more information

Principal Investigator: Erel Shvil , PhD

Overview of the Study:

Hippocampal functioning may plan an important role in the development and maintenance of PTSD.

Using an innovative MRI technique the study aims to identify specific patterns the hippocampus. During the MRI scan, participants receive an intravenous injection of a gadolinium compound. Gadolinium compounds are contrast agents that dissolve in blood. It is frequently used for enhancement brain images for MRI.  This is not a treatment study. If you qualify to participate, you will be asked to come in to undergo fMRI brain scanning.

To schedule a confidential screening, please call Katharine Reiner at 646-774-8104.

The Following studies are no longer recruiting participants, and are listed for informational purposes only.

Medication and Prolonged Exposure Therapy and Brain Imaging Study for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (# 6153)

*No longer recruiting participants

Principal Investigator: Yuval Neria, PhD

Overview of the Study:

PTSD is common among people exposed to an extreme traumatic event. People diagnosed with PTSD tend to experience substantial difficulties in emotional, social, and occupational functioning. An effective treatments for PTSD is a combination of medication and Prolonged Exposure (PE). Our study seeks to examine the brain circuitry underlying recovery from PTSD following a combination treatment. Patients with PTSD will receive Prolonged Exposure therapy and paroxetine, an SSRI. All patients in the study will be assessed by functional MRI (fMRI) and Skin Conductance Response (SCR) measures before and after treatment. Clinical ratings of PTSD severity will be conducted at four time points: before treatment, at week 7, after treatment and at 3 months follow-up. There will also be medication treatment sessions, where the study doctor will assess the progress with the treatment.

To schedule a confidential screening, please call Emily Joyner at 646-774-8104.

 

Combined Mirtazapine and Sertraline Treatment of PTSD Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (IRB#6152)

*No longer recruiting participants

Principal Investigator: Franklin Schneier, MD

Overview of the Study:

Sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil) are the only medications that have been FDA-approved for treatment of PTSD, but they are not fully effective for all patients. One approach to improve treatment of PTSD is to combine these SSRI-type medications with another medication, Mirtazapine (Remeron, Avanza, Zispin) that is a marketed antidepressant. The combination of SSRI medication with mirtazapine has improved response in studies of treatment of depression. The overall goal of this study is to examine whether combined mirtazapine and sertaline treatment is superior to sertraline alone in the treatment of PTSD over 24 weeks.

The overall goal of this study is to examine efficacy of combined mirtazapine and SSRI treatment for PTSD. Sixty patients with chronic PTSD will be randomized to double-blind treatment with:

Patients who show at least a minimal response after 12 weeks will continue for another 12 weeks on the same study treatment.

Depression Treatment Programs

 

   Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Spouses of OIF/OEF Veterans (IRB# 6057)

*No longer recruiting participants

Principal Investigator: John Markowitz, MD

Overview of the Study:

The National Guard and Reserve occupy a uniquely difficult position in the US military. Often having enlisted without expecting to fight in the Middle East, they may carry even higher risk than other troops for disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). Deemed second class soldiers by some in other services, dispersed among other services’ fighting units, National Guard and Reserve members disperse into the civilian population rather than residing on bases when they return to the US. They have limited mental health benefits. Their position is fragmented, isolated, and neglected.

Soldiers’ spouses face parallel difficulties. Their partners often return from combat with new or worsened psychiatric problems and have difficulty reintegrating into civilian life. Isolated in the community, these spouses are on their own, without the support or cohesion of base facilities and other spouses facing similar issues. They may suffer spousal abuse from aggressive and paranoid ex-combatants. Families must not only reintegrate returnees, but also await their potential or actual redeployment. Spouses may already feel overwhelmed as single parents in their partners’ absence, then have this compounded by the soldier’s arrival or departure. Thus spouses of National Guard and Reserve troops carry increased risk of MDD with few treatment resources (for example, no VA benefits): a growing, understudied, undertreated, high risk population.

This study involves a 12 week open trial of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), a time-limited therapy demonstrated to treat MDD. IPT links depression to interpersonal contexts: marital disputes, the military partner’s return home or redeployment (“role transitions”), or complicated bereavement.

Eligibility Criteria: