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RECONsolidation of Traumatic Memories to ResOLve Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (RECONTROLPTSD) (RECONTROL PTSD)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03827057
Recruitment Status : Not yet recruiting
First Posted : February 1, 2019
Last Update Posted : April 23, 2019
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Research and Recognition Project
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Brief Summary:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common cause of morbidity in combat veterans, but current treatments are often inadequate. Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM) is a novel treatment that seeks to alter key aspects of the target memory (e.g., color, clarity, speed, distance, perspective) to make it less impactful, and reduce nightmares, flashbacks, and other features of PTSD. The memory is reviewed in the context of an imaginal movie theater, presenting a fast (~45 sec) black and white movie of the trauma memory, with further adjustment as needed so the patient can comfortably watch it. Open and waitlist studies of RTM have reported high response rates and rapid remission, setting the stage for this randomized, controlled, single-blind trial comparing RTM versus prolonged exposure (PE), the PTSD therapy with the strongest current evidence base.

The investigators hypothesize that RTM will be non-inferior to PE in reducing PTSD symptom severity post-treatment and at 1-year follow up; will achieve faster remission, with fewer dropouts; will improve cognitive function; and that epigenetic markers will correlate with treatment response. The investigators will randomize 108 active or retired service members (SMs) with PTSD to ≤10 sessions of RTM or PE, affording power to test our hypotheses while allowing for ≤ 25% dropouts. The investigators will use an intent to treat analysis, and the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, or DSM5 (CAPS-5), conducted by blinded assessors, will be the primary outcome measure. Secondary measures of depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), sleep (PSQI), and functional status (WHOQOL-100), will be assessed pre- and post-treatment, and at 2, 6, and 12 months. ANOVA will compare symptom severity over time within and between groups. Blood draws will be obtained pre- and posttreatment to assess predictors of treatment response and epigenetic markers of change. The NIH Toolbox Neurocognitive Assessment, pre- and post-treatment, will assess impact on cognitive function. The investigators will track comorbid TBI, anticipating it will not adversely impact response. More palatable and effective therapies for PTSD, with and without TBI, must be developed and evaluated. RTM is safe and promising, but requires testing against evidence-based interventions in well-designed randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Demonstrating corresponding biomarker and neurocognitive improvements will corroborate results, and may facilitate more tailored treatment approaches in the future.


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Traumatic Brain Injury Behavioral: Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM) Behavioral: Prolonged Exposure (PE) Phase 2 Phase 3

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 108 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: This is an interventional randomized controlled trial in which participants have an equal chance of receiving either the current best-evidenced PTSD treatment, prolonged exposure, or a novel approach, reconsolidation of traumatic memories, that has the potential to achieve a more rapid, durable and greater overall response rate.
Masking: Double (Care Provider, Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description: The CAPS-5, the gold standard for PTSD diagnosis, will be administered and scored at baseline to confirm the diagnosis, and subsequently as the primary outcome measure at 2, 6, and 12 months, by expert administrators who will be blinded to treatment arm.
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: RECONsolidation of Traumatic Memories to ResOLve Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (RECONTROLPTSD)
Estimated Study Start Date : May 20, 2019
Estimated Primary Completion Date : September 30, 2021
Estimated Study Completion Date : March 31, 2022

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM)
Participants in each arm of the study will receive up to 10 90-minute manualized treatment sessions. RTM will follow a manual developed by the Research and Recognition Project, who will also train and supervise the therapists. It is anticipated that these treatments will most often be administered once per week for 10 weeks. To best meet participant needs, we will allow therapy in either arm to be "massed" in the pattern recently reported by Foa et al. for PE, with sessions separated by at least 24 hours over two weeks. This schedule has been used with both RTM and PE without hurting response rates, and may reduce drop-out rates. Participants who achieve remission of their PTSD before 10 sessions, measured by a PCL5 <34, can decide with their therapist whether early cessation of therapy is appropriate.
Behavioral: Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM)
RTM is a trauma-focused, but not cognitive behavioral, therapy: it involves brief exposure to the trauma memory, but does rely on conscious responses to correct the symptoms of PTSD. RTM was first used to treat phobias in the 1970s, and has more recently been refined to focus on reconsolidation to update long-term memories, reconfiguring the salience structure of the original memory, and incorporating those changes into the overall memory structure. Reconsolidation is a neural mechanism for updating long-term memory, inserting new information that contradicts an essential element of the memory, which makes it possible to change the emotional tone and salience of the memory. It is hypothesized that RTM can thereby achieve quicker, greater, and more durable responses than with "traditional" exposure therapies.

Active Comparator: Prolonged Exposure (PE)
Participants in each arm of the study will receive up to 10 90-minute manualized treatment sessions. PE will follow a manual written by the Foa and colleagues, and the therapists will be trained by expert trainers from the Center for Deployment Psychology. It is anticipated that these treatments will most often be administered once per week for 10 weeks. To best meet participant needs, we will allow therapy in either arm to be "massed" in the pattern recently reported by Foa et al. for PE, with sessions separated by at least 24 hours over two weeks. This schedule has been used with both RTM and PE without hurting response rates, and may reduce drop-out rates. Participants who achieve remission of their PTSD before 10 sessions, measured by a PCL5 <34, can decide with their therapist whether early cessation of therapy is appropriate.
Behavioral: Prolonged Exposure (PE)
PE is a trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TFCBT) that depends on exposure to the feared stimulus as a central effector of change, utilizing extinction, which theorizes that if a trigger that previously elicited a fear response is presented enough times without reinforcement, the response fades. Previous researchers have shown that extinction involves the creation of a new blocking memory which prevents expression of the original fear memory. While PE has more evidence to support its efficacy in PTSD than other approaches, and a majority achieve a clinical response (e.g., decrease in CAPS score of 10 or more), many do not achieve complete remission of symptoms, and the blocking memory may be fragile, so subsequent triggers may result in relapse.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Clinician Administered PTSD Symptom Scale for DSM5 (CAPS-5) [ Time Frame: week 10 ]
    the gold standard for PTSD diagnosis, a trained expert administrator scores PTSD symptom severity; range 0-80, higher score represents greater severity


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) Score [ Time Frame: week 10, and 2, 6 and 12 months later, compared to baseline ]
    well-validated and widely used 9-item self-report measure of depression symptom severity, range 0-27, higher score represents greater severity

  2. Change in PTSD Checklist for DSM5 (PCL5) Score [ Time Frame: week 10, and 2, 6 and 12 months later, compared to baseline ]
    a reliable 20-item screen for PTSD, in which each item is rated on a 5-point Likert scale, range 0-80, higher score represents greater severity

  3. Change in Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) Score [ Time Frame: week 10, and 2, 6 and 12 months later, compared to baseline ]
    a clinically validated 9-item assessment of sleep quality and sleep disturbances; range 0 to 21, higher score represents greater severity

  4. Change in Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI) Score [ Time Frame: week 10, and 2, 6 and 12 months later, compared to baseline ]
    a reliable 22-item self-report measure assessing functional status and post concussive symptoms, range 0-88, higher score represents greater severity

  5. Change in World Health Organization Quality of Life Inventory (WHOQOL-100) Score [ Time Frame: week 10, and 2, 6 and 12 months later, compared to baseline ]
    a reliable 100 item self-report inventory measuring overall quality of life in 8 dimensions; range 100 to 500, higher score represents greater severity


Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Change in plasma tumor necrosis factor-alpha level [ Time Frame: week 10, compared to baseline ]
    inflammatory cytokine that increases with physical and psychological trauma, measured at the picogram per milliliter level, present in plasma at detectable levels in all individuals with the single molecule array (SIMOA) technology to be applied, but expected to decrease in response to intervention

  2. Change in plasma interleukin-6 level [ Time Frame: week 10, compared to baseline ]
    inflammatory cytokine that increases with physical and psychological trauma, measured at the picogram per milliliter level, present in plasma at detectable levels in all individuals with the SIMOA technology to be applied, but expected to decrease in response to intervention

  3. Change in plasma interleukin-10 level [ Time Frame: week 10, compared to baseline ]
    inflammatory cytokine that increases with physical and psychological trauma, measured at the picogram per milliliter level, present in plasma at detectable levels in all individuals with the SIMOA technology to be applied, but expected to decrease in response to intervention

  4. Change in NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (NIH-TB) Neurocognitive Assessment Composite Score [ Time Frame: week 10, compared to baseline ]
    Normalized Summary Score for a battery of 7 tests to measure various aspects of cognition including memory, executive function, attention span; normed for age, with a score of 50 being average, scores greater than 50 demonstrate greater than average cognitive function, and scores lower than 50 indicating lower than average cognitive function



Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Meets criteria for PTSD on the CAPS5, with past month nightmares or flashbacks.
  2. Willing to be randomly assigned to one of the two interventions and to complete all study measures.
  3. Able to exhibit capacity to understand the informed consent process, by completion of a corresponding series of questions

Exclusion Criteria:

1. history of psychosis, bipolar disorder, or active suicidal or homicidal ideation


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 ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03827057


Contacts
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Contact: Michael Roy, MD, MPH 301-295-9601 michael.roy@usuhs.edu
Contact: Paula Bellini, MA 301-295-5840 paula.bellini.ctr@usuhs.edu

Sponsors and Collaborators
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Research and Recognition Project

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Responsible Party: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03827057     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CNRM-83-9763
First Posted: February 1, 2019    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 23, 2019
Last Verified: January 2019
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Yes
Plan Description: Deidentified data will be entered into the Federal Interagency TBI Research Informatics System (FITBIR) through the CNRM after completion of the study and after all codes or links to personal identifying information have been destroyed.
Supporting Materials: Clinical Study Report (CSR)
Time Frame: after study completion
Access Criteria: Must have approved research protocol
URL: https://fitbir.nih.gov/

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No

Keywords provided by Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences:
posttraumatic stress disorder
traumatic brain injury
cognitive behavioral therapy
exposure therapy
reconsolidation

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Disease
Brain Injuries
Brain Injuries, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Pathologic Processes
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Craniocerebral Trauma
Trauma, Nervous System
Wounds and Injuries
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders
Mental Disorders