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Stress Reduction and Anxiety: Effects on the Function and Structure of the Brain

This study has been completed.
European Commission
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Britta Holzel, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier:
First received: May 19, 2010
Last updated: May 4, 2012
Last verified: May 2012
The aim of the study is to test whether Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) patients that participate in a Stress Reduction Intervention show a brain activation pattern (assessed by MRI) indicative of improved emotion regulation compared to an active control intervention.

Condition Intervention
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Behavioral: Stress Reduction Intervention
Behavioral: Active Control intervention

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Stress Reduction and Anxiety: Effects on the Function and Structure of the Brain

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • brain activation and structure as assessed by MRI [ Time Frame: Day 1 (within two weeks before the intervention) ]
    BOLD functional MRI and structural MRI

  • brain activation and structure as assessed by MRI [ Time Frame: Day 2 (within two weeks after the intervention) ]
    BOLD functional MRI and structural MRI

Enrollment: 29
Study Start Date: May 2010
Study Completion Date: April 2011
Primary Completion Date: April 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Stress Reduction Intervention
Stress Reduction Intervention
Behavioral: Stress Reduction Intervention
eight week group program, plus daily homework practice
Active Comparator: Active Control Condition Behavioral: Active Control intervention
weekly group meetings for eight weeks, plus daily homework practice


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • participation in the study 'Stress Reduction Techniques and Anxiety: Therapeutic and Neuroendocrine Effects" by Dr. Elizabeth Hoge

Exclusion Criteria:

  • metallic implants
  • left handed
  • epileptic seizures
  • head trauma
  • weight over 350 pounds
  • claustrophobia
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01128309

United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital
Charlestown, Massachusetts, United States, 02129
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
European Commission
Principal Investigator: Sara W Lazar, PhD Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Investigator: Britta K Holzel, PhD Massachusetts General Hospital
  More Information

Responsible Party: Britta Holzel, Research Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT01128309     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2010P000947
236975 ( Other Grant/Funding Number: European Commission )
Study First Received: May 19, 2010
Last Updated: May 4, 2012

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Anxiety Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on May 23, 2017