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Imaging the Neurobiology of a Behavioral Treatment for Cocaine Dependence (PET-CRA)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00376558
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 15, 2006
Results First Posted : July 1, 2016
Last Update Posted : July 1, 2016
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
New York State Psychiatric Institute

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to determine whether patients with the greatest loss of dopamine transmission due to cocaine dependence at pre-treatment PET and MRI scans will be those who fail to respond to substance abuse treatment. This study will also determine whether patients who do respond to treatment will experience a recovery of dopamine function. This study includes free brain imaging and behavioral intervention. Compensation provided for the brain scans.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Cocaine Dependence Behavioral: Community Reinforcement Approach Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Previous studies have shown that cocaine dependence is associated with a decrease in dopamine release in response to a psychostimulant challenge. We have recently completed a study demonstrating that this loss of pre-synaptic dopamine function is associated with the choice to self-administer cocaine in the presence of an alternative reinforcer. This finding consistent with animal models of reinforcement and which show that dopamine transmission serves to modulate reward based behavior, and in this case, allows for a more adaptive response to be made in the presence of a competing reinforcer.

The previous study was performed in non-treatment seeking cocaine dependent subjects using an inpatient laboratory model to measure the choice for cocaine. Thus, the goal of the present proposal is to investigate this association in a more realistic setting where cocaine dependent out patients face the choice between using cocaine and the alternative reinforcers presented to them in a therapeutic setting. The Community Reinforcement Approach with voucher incentives is a treatment for cocaine dependence that has been shown success in a number of controlled studies. Since the basis of this therapy is to reduce the reinforcing value of cocaine by increasing the density of alternative, healthy reinforcers, we have chosen to correlate outcome from this treatment with measures of presynaptic dopamine function. We propose to scan cocaine dependent patients with [11C]raclopride and oral methylphenidate in order to measure dopamine release. Patients will be scanned before treatment and at 12 weeks into therapy. We predict that the patients with the greatest loss of dopamine transmission at the pre-treatment scan will be those who fail to respond to treatment. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the patients who do respond to treatment will experience a recovery of dopamine function, measured at the post-treatment scan.

In addition, subjects enrolled in this study will undergo functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and spectroscopy studies in order to asses differences in neuronal integrity, learning, and impulse control.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 50 participants
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Imaging the Neurobiology of a Behavioral Treatment for Cocaine Dependence
Study Start Date : July 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2010
Actual Study Completion Date : January 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Contingency Management w/ CRA
Cocaine users: Contingency management w/ Community Reinforcement Approach
Behavioral: Community Reinforcement Approach
Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA): The community reinforcement treatment program will be carried out in accordance with NIDA's therapy manual (13).During weeks 13 through 24, patients will meet once per week with their therapists. Sessions will focus on promoting continued change in the life areas addressed in the first 12 weeks of treatment or new components are added as needed.

No Intervention: Healthy Control
A group of healthy matched comparison subjects with no DSM-IV axis I Disorder was included; they were matched for cigarette smoking, gender, and ethnicity.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change From Baseline in the Binding Potential of [11C]Raclopride [ Time Frame: baseline and 3 months ]
    The relationship between Methylphenidate-induced Dopamine Release in the Striatum (Measured by Displacement of [11C]-Raclopride by Oral Methylphenidate) and Treatment Response (Measured Using Community Reinforcement Approach and Contingency Management) was studied. Dopamine Function was assessed by evaluation of endogenous Dopamine release over the course of treatment (i.e., at 3 months as compared to baseline). Endogenous Dopamine release is inversely related to the change in binding potential (delta BPND) of [11C]raclopride, in that a negative delta BPND, or increased displacement of [11C]raclopride, reflects an increase in the release of endogenous dopamine over the course of treatment.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Cocaine Craving, Withdrawal Symptoms, Pattern of Cocaine Use [ Time Frame: 2x/week for 24 weeks ]
    measurement of abstinence, measured as vouchers earned and clinical appointments attended using CRA

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 45 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Males or females between 21 and 45 years old
  • Fulfill DSMIV criteria for cocaine abuse or dependence
  • Able to give informed consent and comply with study procedures
  • Medically Healthy

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Major DSM-IV Axis I disorder other than cocaine abuse or dependence. Subjects with a history of other psychostimulant abuse/dependence or compulsive gambling will be excluded.
  • Current use of opiates, sedative-hypnotic, and/or cannabis more than twice a week (use less than twice a week is acceptable).
  • Current use of psychotropic medication such as antipsychotics or antidepressants.
  • Presence or positive history of severe medical or neurological illness (including epilepsy), or any cardiovascular disease, low hemoglobin (Hb < 14 gm/dL in males, Hb < 12 gm/dL in females), or SGOT or SGPT > 2-3 times normal. Chronic active hepatitis B or C will also be an exclusion criteria.
  • Resting SBP >150, DBP > 90
  • Pregnancy or lactation, lack of effective birth control during 15 days before the scans*
  • Evidence /report of any heart abnormality during intake medical history, EKG or physical exam.
  • Metal implants or paramagnetic objects contained within the body which may interfere with the MRI scan, as determined in consultation with a neuroradiologist and according to the guidelines set forth in the following reference book commonly used by neuroradiologists: "Guide to MR procedures and metallic objects" Shellock, PhD, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, NY 2001.
  • Lifetime exposure to radiation in the workplace, or history of participation in nuclear medicine procedures, including research protocols **
  • Positive Allen Test indicating lack of collateral blood flow to hand
  • History of sensitivity to methylphenidate

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00376558

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United States, New York
New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York, New York, United States, 10032
Sponsors and Collaborators
New York State Psychiatric Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
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Principal Investigator: Diana Martinez, MD Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc.
Additional Information:
Publications of Results:
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Responsible Party: New York State Psychiatric Institute Identifier: NCT00376558    
Other Study ID Numbers: #5158
R01DA020855-02 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: September 15, 2006    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: July 1, 2016
Last Update Posted: July 1, 2016
Last Verified: May 2016
Keywords provided by New York State Psychiatric Institute:
cocaine dependence
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Cocaine-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders