Imaging the Neurobiology of a Behavioral Treatment for Cocaine Dependence

The recruitment status of this study is unknown because the information has not been verified recently.
Verified May 2006 by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Recruitment status was  Recruiting
Information provided by:
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Identifier:
First received: September 14, 2006
Last updated: NA
Last verified: May 2006
History: No changes posted
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.

Condition Intervention
Cocaine Dependence
Behavioral: Community Reinforcement Approach

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Imaging the Neurobiology of a Behavioral Treatment for Cocaine Dependence

Further study details as provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • dopamine function, treatment retention, cocaine urine toxicology

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • cocaine craving, withdrawal symptoms, pattern of cocaine use

Estimated Enrollment: 40
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 fMRI and spectroscopy studies in order to asses differences in neuronal integrity, learning, and impulse control.


Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 45 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
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
  Contacts and Locations
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, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00376558

Contact: Rochelle Amurao 1212-923-3031

United States, New York
New York State Psychiatric Institute Recruiting
New York, New York, United States, 10032
Contact: STARS    212-923-3031      
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Principal Investigator: Diana Martinez, MD Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc.
  More Information

Additional Information: Identifier: NCT00376558     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01DA020855-02 
Study First Received: September 14, 2006
Last Updated: September 14, 2006
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
cocaine dependence

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cocaine-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders processed this record on May 24, 2016