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Games to Overcome Late Life Depression (GOLD)

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: NCT02229188
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 1, 2014
Last Update Posted : September 19, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Pat Arean, University of Washington

Brief Summary:
This is a pilot study divided into two phases. IN phase 1 (completed) participants will be randomized to receive 8 weeks of Problem Solving Therapy (PST) alone or 8 weeks of a cognitive training game called, Evolution (Evo) plus clinical management. In Phase 2 (now recruiting), participants will be randomized to Evo, PST, and a different cognitive training program called Words. Words is similar to Evo in that it is an adaptive training program and includes case management. IN both studies participants will be assessed for clinical and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) outcomes at baseline, 4 weeks and 8 weeks.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Major Depressive Disorder Behavioral: Problem Solving Therapy Behavioral: Evolution Behavioral: Words Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
Evo is a computer game that targets parts of the brain (i.e. the cognitive control network) that we think may be associated with depressive symptoms. This study is exploratory and will inform future hypotheses the research team will test in subsequent research.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 30 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: Games to Overcome Late Life Depression
Actual Study Start Date : December 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2018
Actual Study Completion Date : August 31, 2018

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Problem Solving Therapy
Problem Solving Therapy is an evidence-based behavioral treatment for late life depression proven effective with different geriatric groups including ambulatory; medically ill; older adults with executive dysfunctions; and more recently, low-income, disabled older adults.
Behavioral: Problem Solving Therapy
Problem solving therapy is an evidence based behavioral intervention for late life depression. It consist of 8 weekly session of talk therapy, whereby the therapist helps the patient solve problems that are thought to be causing depressive symptoms.
Other Name: PST

Experimental: Evolution
Evolution is a plasticity intervention in the form of a video driving game that targets the cognitive conflict network.
Behavioral: Evolution
Evo is a video game that has therapeutic elements targeting the cognitive control network. Impairment in this neural network is associated with a specific subtype of late life depression that puts people at risk for poor response to SSRIs. Evo is built from a research grade training paradigm that has shown to induce improvements in this network in healthy older adults
Other Names:
  • Neuroracer
  • Evo
  • Project: Evolution

Placebo Comparator: Words
Words is a challenging crosswords type of game that will serve as the placebo comparator to Evo.
Behavioral: Words
Words is a cognitively challenging crossword/word search type of video game that will serve as the control condition for the second phase of this project

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in depression over time [ Time Frame: weeks 0, 4, 8, 24 ]
    Hamilton Depression Rating Scale

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:   60 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Between 60-80 years of age
  2. Meets criteria for Major Depressive Disorder
  3. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) of 20 or greater
  4. Mini Mental State Exam score of 24 or greater
  5. Can speak and read English
  6. Able to physically participate in the research protocol (e.g.: is not suffering from a terminal or highly disabling illness)
  7. Can participate in MRI scans
  8. Able to provide written informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. History of psychosis, mania, or currently using or abusing illicit drugs or alcohol
  2. Diagnosis of dementia
  3. Taking cognitive enhancers
  4. Change in or newly began taking psychiatric medication within the last 6 months
  5. Pacemaker
  6. Metal in the body that cannot be removed
  7. Color blind
  8. Movement disorder that prevents participation -

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): NCT02229188

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United States, Washington
University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Seattle, Washington, United States, 98105
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Washington
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Principal Investigator: Patricia Arean, PhD University of Washington
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Pat Arean, Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington Identifier: NCT02229188    
Other Study ID Numbers: STUDY00001751
First Posted: September 1, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 19, 2018
Last Verified: September 2018
Keywords provided by Pat Arean, University of Washington:
Depression; mood; cognitive training
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder, Major
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders