Non-invasive Vagal Nerve Stimulation in Alcohol Use Disorder
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|ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05226130|
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : February 7, 2022
Last Update Posted : April 11, 2022
|Condition or disease||Intervention/treatment||Phase|
|Alcohol Use Disorder||Device: Cervical transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (active comparator) Device: Cervical transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (sham comparator)||Phase 1|
AUD is a serious mental health disorder that affects more than 40% of US military Veterans, presenting a major burden to this population. Relapse rates of AUD are extremely high; over half of Veterans who complete treatment, relapse within 6 months, highlighting the need for improved treatments or differing treatment targets. Chronic, heavy drinking leads to an imbalance in homeostasis resulting in psychological and physical distress during periods of abstinence, and the urge to drink to relieve these symptoms to restore homeostasis.
nVNS is a low-risk form of neuromodulation that has been shown to alleviate anxiety and chronic pain, and to reduce drug and alcohol relapse in animal models. The investigators hypothesize that nVNS attenuates distress-related craving in AUD in humans by modifying the autonomic nervous system and changing the perception of inner bodily sensations of physiological and affective distress. The investigators also hypothesize that nVNS improves functional outcomes and quality of life in Veterans with AUD.
The proposed research will include 16 Veterans who meet for a diagnosis of AUD. Subjects will be randomly assigned to receive nVNS or sham stimulation prior to performing a well-validated functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging task designed to assess neural correlates of physical distress (via a heat stimulus). Subjects will then self-administer nVNS/sham at home twice a day for 7 days and return for a follow-up visit, during which all study components will be repeated. Behavioral assessments of functional disability, quality of life, psychological and physiological distress, and craving will be administered at baseline, after stimulation, and at follow-up.
The aim of the proposed study is to establish feasibility and acceptability of applying nVNS as a rehabilitative treatment for AUD. In addition, the study will evaluate the preliminary effectiveness of nVNS in improving functional outcomes and quality of life, in reducing distress and craving, and in altering neural activation patterns in brain regions involved in the perception and awareness of distress and pain. The proposed work has the potential to lead to innovative, low-risk treatment options with high promise to significantly improve the care and lives of Veterans as there is a need for alternative treatments for AUD. As such, this novel AUD treatment could be particularly beneficial for Veterans who do not tolerate pharmacotherapy, and who have access or cognitive limitations or stigma concerns that act as barriers to psychotherapy.
|Study Type :||Interventional (Clinical Trial)|
|Estimated Enrollment :||16 participants|
|Intervention Model:||Parallel Assignment|
|Intervention Model Description:||Devices include a sham and an active noninvasive vagal nerve stimulator (nVNS). Devices are identical in appearance, and both produce reliable sensation on the skin when applied to the neck area (transcutaneous cervical stimulation). Stimulation duration is approximately 120 seconds for both sham and active devices. Subjects receive the same instructions to self-administer stimulation twice a day for 120 minutes on each side (right and left).|
|Masking:||Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)|
|Masking Description:||Both the research team involved in data collection and subjects will be blinded (double-blind study design). Subjects will be randomly assigned to receive either active or sham stimulation. Devices will be marked with an identification number to mask treatment condition. An unblinded Co-Investigator, not involved in data collection and subject contact, will assign randomization, provide device identification number, and keep the key linking condition to identification numbers.|
|Official Title:||Non-invasive Vagal Nerve Stimulation to Improve Functional Outcomes in Veterans With Alcohol Use Disorder|
|Actual Study Start Date :||April 1, 2022|
|Estimated Primary Completion Date :||October 31, 2023|
|Estimated Study Completion Date :||March 31, 2024|
Active Comparator: Active cervical transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation
Participants will be assigned to active transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation, received once during each of the study visits and self-administered twice a day for a week.
Device: Cervical transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (active comparator)
Active nVNS produces low-voltage electrical signal that generates sensations on the skin on upper anterior cervical area (overlying carotid artery) and that stimulates the vagus nerve.
Placebo Comparator: Sham cervical transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation
Participants will be assigned to sham transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation, received once during each of the study visits and self-administered twice a day for a week.
Device: Cervical transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (sham comparator)
Sham nVNS produces low-voltage electrical signal that generates sensations on the skin on upper anterior cervical area (overlying carotid artery) and that does not stimulate the vagus nerve.
- Treatment Acceptability Questionnaire (TAQ) [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention (measure only administered at at study completion, i.e., 1 week after baseline) ]The Treatment Acceptability Questionnaire (TAQ) is a self-rating questionnaire used to assess acceptability of a treatment. The TAQ uses a 7-point rating scale ranging from 1 to 7, with lower scores reflecting lower acceptability and a midpoint of 4 indicating neutral acceptability. A rating above the midpoint of the TAQ (i.e., score between 5 and 7) is the established criterion for "acceptable to highly acceptable".
- Measurement of feasibility - Recruitment goal [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention ]Treatment feasibility will be evaluated by meeting the recruitment goal of 16 Veterans within 12 months as measured by consented subjects who completed the baseline study visit.
- Measurement of feasibility - Treatment adherence [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention ]Treatment feasibility will be evaluated by meeting >75% treatment adherence as documented in checklist/daily diary and interview) and measured as administering nVNS/sham stimulation twice a day for 7 days.
- Measurement of feasibility - Subject retention [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention ]Treatment feasibility will be evaluated by meeting >75% subject retention at follow-up as measured by subjects completing the follow-up study visit.
- Measurement of feasibility - Adverse side effects [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention ]Treatment feasibility will be evaluated by no serious adverse side effects (as documented in checklist/daily diary and interview).
- Substance Use Recovery Evaluator (SURE) [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention ]The Substance Use Recovery Evaluator (SURE) assesses the following domains of AUD-related functional outcomes: self-care (mental and physical health), relationships, material resources (stability of housing and occupational resources), and outlook of life. The SURE has been developed for use in substance use disorder populations. The SURE is comprised of 21 items, rated on a 3-point scale, but scored using a 3-point scale. Scores range from 21-63.
- WHO Quality of Life assessment (WHOQOL-BREF) [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention ]The WHO Quality of Life assessment (WHOQOL-BREF) assesses quality of life across four domains (physical health, psychological, social relationships, and environment) with a total of 26 questions. The rating scale ranges from 1 to 5; score interpretation varies between items.
- Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention ]The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) is a self-report instrument to measure the severity of anxiety and emotional distress. The BAI is a 21-item questionnaire with a 4-point rating scale, with a higher score reflecting greater anxiety.
- PROMIS Pain Interference [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention ]The PROMIS Pain Interference measures self-reported consequences of pain on relevant aspects of one's life, i.e., the extent to which pain hinders engagement with social, cognitive, emotional, physical, and recreational activities. This questionnaire has 8 items, rated on a 5-point scale, ranging from "not at all" to "very much". Higher scores reflect higher pain interference.
- Alcohol Urge Questionnaire (AUQ) [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention ]The Alcohol Urge Questionnaire (AUQ) is 8-item scale that measures cognitive preoccupation with alcohol on a 7-point rating scale ranging from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree". Two items are reverse scored. Higher scores reflect greater craving.
- Heat pain fMRI task [ Time Frame: Baseline to week 1 of 2x daily intervention ]During this task, participants receive brief thermal stimuli (experienced temperature ranging from warm to hot) applied to the leg via a thermode. Neural activation will be measured using percent signal change with higher scores indicating greater activation.
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): NCT05226130
|Contact: Ruth Klaming, PhD||(858) 642-3538||Ruth.Miller@va.gov|
|Contact: Imanuel R Lerman, MD MSc||(203) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|United States, California|
|VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA||Recruiting|
|San Diego, California, United States, 92161|
|Contact: Ruth Klaming, PhD 858-642-3538 Ruth.Miller@va.gov|
|Principal Investigator: Ruth Klaming, PhD|
|Principal Investigator:||Ruth Klaming, PhD||VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA|