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Study of Brain Circuitry in Anxiety Disorders

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: NCT01849432
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 8, 2013
Last Update Posted : May 8, 2013
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Scott Rauch, Mclean Hospital

Brief Summary:

A diverse body of research has implicated the amygdalo-cortical circuitry in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. For example, one model of PTSD posits exaggerated amygdala responsivity to threat-related stimuli as well as deficient top-down modulation of amygdala responses by specific cortical regions, including the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, subcallosal cortex, and hippocampus.

The investigators propose to investigate the pathophysiology of several specific anxiety disorders, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorder (PD), and Specific Phobia(SP), by using cognitive activation paradigms and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to probe the function and structure of implicated amygdalo-cortical circuitry.

Condition or disease
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Panic Disorder Specific Phobias

Detailed Description:
All candidates for this project will undergo a comprehensive clinical assessment by an investigator trained to administer these instruments. At the MGH fMRI Center in Charlestown or at the Neuroimaging Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA; each subject will undergo a single MRI session lasting approximately 2 hours. After the scanning session, subjects may be asked to make judgments about the facial expressions or the words that were presented.

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Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 42 participants
Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Probing Amygdalo-Cortical Circuitry in Anxiety Disorders
Study Start Date : December 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : July 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Healthy Controls
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Participants with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder
Participants with Panic Disorder
Specific Phobia
Participants who have specific phobias

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. amygdala activation during Masked Affect Task [ Time Frame: measured once at fMRI session ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Boston metropolitan area

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18 - 65 years of age
  • Right-handed (Edinburgh Inventory - Oldfield 1971)
  • SCID diagnosis consistent with group designation:

Current PTSD (PTSD group; none current or past (NC and TENC group); Current SP (must be to small animal phobia, SP group); Current PD (PD group)

  • To be matched for age, gender, and years of education, as well as self-identified race/ethnicity.
  • For female subjects, stage of menstrual cycle will be ascertained by history (see appendix), and dates of fMRI acquisition will be scheduled to prevent systematic differences between groups with respect to this variable.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Neurologic or medical condition that would interfere with study procedures or confound results, ascertained by history.
  • History of seizure or significant head trauma (i.e., extended loss of consciousness, neurological sequelae, or known structural brain lesion)
  • History of exclusionary Axis I psychiatric diagnosis (other than as specified); i.e., history of substance use disorder, psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, tic disorder, or eating disorder. Note that comorbid current major depressive disorder will be allowed in up to one half of each study group. This will enable inclusion of this common comorbidity, but also enable a definitive assessment of whether or not the presence of this comorbid diagnosis is driving any observed significant between group differences.
  • Use of psychotropic medication within 4 weeks prior to study (within 6 weeks for fluoxetine, or other long-lived compounds; within one year for neuroleptics).
  • Pregnancy (to be ruled out by urine ß-HCG).
  • Metallic implants or devices contraindicating magnetic resonance imaging.

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): NCT01849432

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United States, Massachusetts
McLean Hospital
Belmont, Massachusetts, United States, 02478
Sponsors and Collaborators
Mclean Hospital
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Principal Investigator: Scott L Rauch, MD Mclean Hospital