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Treatment Of Chronic Pain Using Real Time fMRI

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified April 2011 by Omneuron.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Information provided by:
Omneuron Identifier:
First received: September 11, 2007
Last updated: April 25, 2011
Last verified: April 2011
The purpose of this study is to test a new investigational method for treatment of chronic pain using cognitive training guided by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Condition Intervention Phase
Chronic Pain
Behavioral: cognitive training using fMRI
Behavioral: placebo
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Treatment Of Chronic Pain Using Real-time Functional MRI Trial

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Omneuron:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Measures of Pain Magnitude; McGill Pain Questionnaire; Visual Analogue Scale; Coping Strategies; Pain Catastrophizing Scale; Beck Depression Inventory; Treatment Outcome of Pain States; Increased control over brain activation measured using fMRI [ Time Frame: duration of the trial ]

Estimated Enrollment: 144
Study Start Date: September 2007
Estimated Study Completion Date: August 2011
Estimated Primary Completion Date: August 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: 1
Participants will see their own brain activation.
Behavioral: cognitive training using fMRI
Participants will be scanned using fMRI while they employ the cognitive training strategies—allowing them to view their brain activity.
Placebo Comparator: 2
Participants will see simulated data that does not come from their own brains.
Behavioral: placebo
Some participants will see simulated data that does not come from their own brains.

Detailed Description:

Chronic pain is a substantial medical and economic problem, and is often unresponsive to conventional treatment. In this study, scientists will seek to decrease pain by increasing control over pain using newly-developed brain imaging methods to train people to control their own brain activation. This is the first clinical application of a recently-developed technology allowing a person to watch their own brain activation second-by-second and to learn to control it. It may provide a means to train people to control chronic pain by controlling their own brain states.

The purpose of the study is to evaluate real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) feedback for treating chronic pain diagnoses, including fibromyalgia, neuralgia, neuropathy, migraine, and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)/reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). The study will also measure the impact of cognitive training for pain control on activations from the areas of the brain involved in pain.

All participants in this study will receive a new form of cognitive training for controlling pain. Participants will be scanned using fMRI while they employ the cognitive training strategies—allowing them to view their brain activity. Some participants will see their own brain activation during this process while other participants will see very similar but simulated data that does not come from their own brains.

Participation in the study will last about 6 months with 12 visits that includes 6 sessions in an MRI scanner. Recruitment for this trial is limited to persons in the San Francisco Bay area. Participants must be able to attend sessions in Menlo Park, CA. Participants will be reimbursed for travel time within the Bay area.

Information gained from this study may help in developing potential future treatments for chronic pain.


Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Clinically diagnosed chronic pain. Some example diagnoses include: CRPS, RSD, neuropathy, neuralgia, fibromyalgia, or migraine.
  • No implanted medical devices that are not compatible with MRI (spinal cord stimulator/pump, pacemaker, surgical aneurysm clip, etc)
  • No recent history of severe psychiatric illness
  • Weight less than 220 lbs.
  • Able to be scanned in MRI without claustrophobia
  • No facial tattoos, non-removable metal implants, piercings, or extensive dental work.
  • Not pregnant or having fertility treatments
  Contacts and Locations
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, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00528346

United States, California
Omneuron, 99 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, California, United States, 94025
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Principal Investigator: Christopher deCharms, PhD Omneuron
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: Christopher deCharms, Principal Investigator, Omneuron Identifier: NCT00528346     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2R44NS050642-06 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: September 11, 2007
Last Updated: April 25, 2011

Keywords provided by Omneuron:
chronic pain
functional magnetic resonance imaging
cognitive training

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Chronic Pain
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on April 27, 2017