Effects of Arousal and Stress in Anxiety

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified November 2013 by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Sponsor:
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00026559
First received: November 10, 2001
Last updated: March 14, 2014
Last verified: November 2013

November 10, 2001
March 14, 2014
June 2001
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Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00026559 on ClinicalTrials.gov Archive Site
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Effects of Arousal and Stress in Anxiety
Effects of Arousal and Stress on Classical Conditioning

This study has several parts. One part will examine the influence of factors such as personality and past experience on reactions to unpleasant stimuli. Others will examine the effect of personality and emotional and attentional states on learning and memory.

When confronted with fearful or unpleasant events, people can develop fear of specific cues that were associated with these events as well as to the environmental context in which the events occurred via a process called classical conditioning. Classical conditioning has been used to model anxiety disorders, but the relationship between stress and anxiety and conditioned responses remains unclear. This study will examine the relationship between cued conditioning and context conditioning . This study will also explore the acquisition and retention of different types of motor, emotional, and cognitive associative processes during various tasks that range from mildly arousing to stressful.

Objective: Fear and anxiety are adaptive responses to different types of threats. Fear is a short-duration response evoked by explicit threat cues. Fear can best be studied using Pavlovian fear conditioning. Studies 1 and 2 examine learning processes underlying fear conditioning as well as the influence of cognitive and affective processes on these learning processes. Anxiety is a more sustained state of apprehension evoked by unpredictable threat. Study 2 examines the interactions between anxiety induced experimentally and cognitive processes. Specifically, we seek to 1) characterize the effect of anxiety on key cognitive processes including working memory, attention control, conflict, and learning and memory and 2) examine the extent to which performance of cognitive tasks distract from anxiety. Study 3 examines the effects of memory retrieval on extinction.

Study population: This minimal-risk protocol will test medically and psychiatrically healthy volunteers aged 18-50. Pregnant or nursing women will be excluded.

Method: Fear and anxiety will be measured using the startle reflex to brief and loud sounds. Fear conditioning will be assessed using shock as unconditioned stimulus. Cognitive performance will be examined during periods of unpredictable shock anticipation or prior to giving a speech.

Outcome measures: The study will include cognitive performance and measure of aversive states, primarily the startle reflex.

Observational
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Anxiety Disorder
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*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
 
Recruiting
1317
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  • INCLUSION CRITERIA:
  • Males and females
  • Age 18-50

EXCLUSION CRITERIA:

  • Pregnancy
  • Any current ongoing medical illness
  • Current Axis I disorders
  • Past significant psychiatric disorders (e.g., psychotic disorders) according to DSM-IV
  • Current alcohol or substance abuse according to DSM-IV criteria
  • History of alcohol or substance dependence based on DSM-IV criteria within 6 months prior to screening
  • Current psychotropic medication use
  • Current or past organic central nervous system disorders, including but not limited to seizure disorder or neurological symptoms of the wrist and arms (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome). The latter exclusion is for shock studies only.
  • Negative urine toxicology screen
Both
18 Years to 50 Years
Yes
Contact: Christian Grillon, Ph.D. (301) 594-2894 grillonc@mail.nih.gov
United States
 
NCT00026559
010185, 01-M-0185
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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Principal Investigator: Christian Grillon, Ph.D. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
November 2013

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP