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Adult Study Oxytocin - fMRI (ASO-fMRI)

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: NCT02566356
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : October 2, 2015
Last Update Posted : May 21, 2019
San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Joshua Woolley, University of California, San Francisco

Brief Summary:

In this study, investigators will examine the behavioral effects and neurophysiological mechanisms of the pro-social neuropeptide oxytocin in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Such research is a necessary first step towards identifying whether intranasal oxytocin administration can serve as an adjunct treatment for social impairments in schizophrenia.

Aim 1: To examine the effects of exogenous oxytocin on patterns of neural activation as measured by fMRI during a well-characterized affect-labeling task in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia and healthy comparison subjects.

Hypothesis A: Patients will exhibit amygdalar hyperactivity and PNS hypo-activity when passively viewing faces, which will be normalized by administration of oxytocin.

Hypothesis B: Patients will exhibit hypo-activity of the vPFC when affectively labeling faces and this hypo-activity will be normalized by oxytocin administration.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Schizophrenia Oxytocin Social Cognition Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Drug: Oxytocin Drug: Saline Nasal Spray Early Phase 1

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 59 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Mechanisms and Effects of Oxytocin on Social Cognition in Schizophrenia - fMRI
Study Start Date : September 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date : September 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : September 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Schizophrenia
Drug Information available for: Oxytocin

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Oxytocin
40 IU Oxytocin
Drug: Oxytocin
40 IU of the oxytocin will be administered intranasally for a one time dose at the beginning of the visit.
Other Name: Syntocinon

Placebo Comparator: Saline Nasal Spray
Placebo Comparator
Drug: Saline Nasal Spray
40 IU of the saline nasal spray will be administered once at the beginning of the visit.
Other Name: Placebo

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in fMRI neural activation patterns [ Time Frame: 2-days at least 1-week apart ]
    During tasks in which participants will see and hear various stimuli, investigators will measure the change in neural activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and the temporoparietal junction between placebo and oxytocin testing days using the fMRI 3T Siemens Skyra scanner.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Quality of Life Scale (QLS) [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    The QLS is a 21-item clinical rating scale where the interviewer rates the participant's responses on a scale of 1-6 where 6 indicates no impairment. In the fMRI study an abbreviated version of the QLS is used that includes 9 of the 21 items. The 9 items are each derived from the sections examining interpersonal relations, occupational role functioning, intrapsychic foundations, and common objects.

  2. Social Functioning Scale (SFS) [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    The SFS is designed to assess a subject's social skills and performance, and to measure functions that are of importance for schizophrenic patients. It is a 79-item scale completed by the subject.

  3. UCLA Loneliness Scale [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    The UCLA Loneliness Scale assesses the loneliness level of participants. It is a 20-item scale where responses are measured from O ("I often feel this way") to N ("I never feel this way").

  4. Experiences in Close Relationships - Relationship Structures (ECR-RS) [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    The ECR is used to evaluate the construct of adult attachment. The scale involves 36 itemized statements split into four parts, each part referring to a different attachment figure. Participants rank each item using a 7-point likert scale.

  5. Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    The PBI measures fundamental parenting styles as perceived the child. The questionnaire is retrospective in that it asks the adult participant to answer the questions based on how they remember their parents to be during up until they were 16 years old. The measure is completed for both mothers and fathers separately. There are 25 questions where half the questions are focused on how the parent cared for them and half are focused on how the parents protected them. A likert scale is used to measure responses where 1 is agree (i.e. very like) and 4 is disagree (i.e. very dislike).

  6. Premorbid IQ test (AmNART) [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    The American National Adult Reading Test (AMNART) is an instrument used to estimate premorbid verbal IQ in adults. Participants are shown 45 words one at a time and are asked to read the word aloud. The scorer then writes 0 if the participant read the word incorrectly or 1 if the pronunciation is correct.

  7. Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    The CTQ is a brief survey of 6 early traumatic experiences, including death, divorce, violence, sexual abuse, illness or other. The scale determines and assesses an individual's understanding of their childhood trauma, if applicable.

  8. Emotional Quotient Scale (EQS) [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    The EQ is a 60-item self-report questionnaire that is designed to measure empathy in adults. Participants use a 4 item likert scale to record their responses (1=definitely agree, 4= definitely disagree).

  9. Kinsey Scale [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    The Kinsey scale attempts to describe a person's sexual orientation using a scale from 0 (i.e. heterosexual) to 6 (i.e. homosexual).

  10. Socioeconomic Status (SES) [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    This assess participants' socioeconomic status through their educational level and occupational level using a scale from 1 (i.e. professional, higher executive level) to 7 (i.e. less than 7 years of school, unskilled employee). This scale is also used for the participants' primary and secondary caretakers.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 50 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria for Patients:

  • Male
  • SCID-IV confirmed diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
  • Clinically stable
  • No changes to medications for the past week

Inclusion Criteria for Healthy Controls:

  • Male
  • SCID-IV confirmed no diagnosis of a current Axis I disorder within the last year

Exclusion Criteria for Patients and Healthy Controls:

  • Meeting criteria for current substance abuse or dependence or illicit drug use within the last month (nicotine use is acceptable) as determined by a Urine Toxicology Drug Screening
  • Any illness that affects the nasal passages and impairs the delivery of a nasal spray
  • Presence of any neurological or significant medical disorder, including medical illnesses that could interfere with physiological recording such as cardiac arrhythmias
  • A pacemaker, extensive dental work, or any magnetic metal implants and upper body tattoos
  • Pregnancy
  • Claustrophpbia
  • Hearing difficulties
  • A history of seizures
  • Failure to receive a passing score on the reading test

Additional Exclusion Criteria for Patients and Healthy Controls:

  • Taking any psychotropic medication or any medication that affects the autonomic or cardiovascular systems.
  • Schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder in a first degree relative
  • Failure to receive a passing score on the MOCA

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): NCT02566356

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United States, California
San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
San Francisco, California, United States, 94121
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California, United States, 94143
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
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Principal Investigator: Josh D Woolley, MD/PhD University of California San Francisco, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
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Responsible Party: Joshua Woolley, Principal Investigator, University of California, San Francisco Identifier: NCT02566356    
Other Study ID Numbers: 12-09654
First Posted: October 2, 2015    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 21, 2019
Last Verified: May 2019
Keywords provided by Joshua Woolley, University of California, San Francisco:
Social Cognition
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
Mental Disorders
Reproductive Control Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs