Prolonged Exposure for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) With/Without Yohimbine
The proposed study has three distinct but related research objectives. The first goal is to measure physiological correlates of successful treatment with Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Individuals with PTSD often experience elevated heart rates and other objectively measurable signs of anxiety when confronted with safe situations that remind them of past dangerous situations. We will measure physiological responses and compare the outcomes to patient's self reported subjective accounts of symptom improvement on traditional measures of PTSD. Developing a way to measure objective gains in symptoms improvement may help researchers who are studying ways to improve PTSD treatment. The second goal of the study is to investigate if yohimbine, a drug found to promote a specific type of learning, will improve treatment outcomes for veterans in PTSD treatment. The third goal is to investigate if ability to get used to loud startling audio tones correlates to baseline PTSD pathology and treatment outcomes for PE. This goal represents an important step forward in understanding characteristics of heritable traits that are related PTSD. It is significant because such research may one day lead to the development of individual responder policies that will assist patients by individualizing treatment plans based on personal characteristics.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Psychophysiology of Prolonged Exposure for PTSD With/Without Yohimbine|
- Clinician Administered PTSD Scale [ Time Frame: 0 Weeks, 15 weeks, 27 weeks. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
|Study Start Date:||December 2010|
|Study Completion Date:||May 2015|
|Primary Completion Date:||April 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Experimental: Arm 1
Patients will take one 21.6 mg. dose of yohimbine one hour before first imaginal exposure in PE.
alpha-2 adrenergic receptor antagonist
Placebo Comparator: Arm 2
Patients will take a placebo one hour before first imaginal exposure in PE.
The proposed study has three distinct but related research objectives. The first research goal is to measure psychophysiological correlates of treatment gains associated with Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy for PTSD in veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF). Specifically, heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance, and facial electromyography, will be recorded before and after treatment during a three minute anxiety probe specific to the patient's index trauma. These measures will be compared to patient's self reported subjective accounts of symptom improvement on traditional measures of PTSD pathology (Subjective Units of Distress (SUDs), PTSD Checklist-Military Version (PCL), Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)). This goal is significant for veterans because currently no widely used objective criteria exist to measure treatment progress in PTSD. While the preponderance of existing evidence suggests that no one objective psychophysiological measurement will be a valid correlate for all individuals, even establishing a measurement paradigm that can show mean differences between groups will provide researchers with an objective tool to measure outcomes on clinical trials.
The second goal of the study is to investigate if the administration of yohimbine, a drug found to promote the extinction of conditioned fear in animal models, and more recently, in humans with claustrophobia, improves the facilitation of fear extinction in PE. Yohimbine is a safe drug that is already extensively used in human populations. Specifically, this goal will be investigated using a double blind placebo controlled randomized trial design. The hypothesis is that one 21mg oral dose of yohimbine given concurrently with a 40 minute imaginal exposure exercise in PE will lead to a greater reduction in cue-induced anxiety during the following weekly PE session than placebo. This goal is significant because current projections of PTSD in OEF/OIF veterans indicate that the need for psychological services will likely outpace the supply of such services. Accordingly, assisting treatments to be more efficient will likely translate into more veterans receiving much needed mental health services.
The 3rd goal is to investigate if ability to habituate to loud, 95db, audio tones correlates to baseline PTSD pathology and treatment outcomes for PE. This goal represents an important step forward in understanding characteristics of trait habituation, fear extinction, and learning in humans, which are all factors related to the successful treatment of PTSD. It is also significant because such research may lead to the development of individual responder policies that will assist veterans by individualizing treatment plans based on personal characteristics.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01031979
|United States, South Carolina|
|Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC|
|Charleston, South Carolina, United States, 29401-5799|
|Principal Investigator:||Peter W. Tuerk, PhD MA BA||Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC|