Anhedonia clinical trials at UC Health
4 in progress, 2 open to new patients
open to eligible people ages 18-40
Anhedonia is a symptom dimension that characterizes many individuals suffering from depression, as well as some types of anxiety, psychosis, and substance use. For the most part, treatments are effective in decreasing negative affect but ineffective in improving anhedonia, with some antidepressant medications even worsening symptoms of anhedonia. Yet anhedonia is a significant marker of poor prognosis as well as suicidal ideation and actual suicide. The development of effective treatments for anhedonia is thus of paramount importance. Advances in neuroscience indicate specific targets that may underlie anhedonia that can be shifted through behavioral training. The investigators have developed such a program and found it to be effective in raising positive affect, especially for depressed or anxious individuals with anhedonia at baseline. To date, this program has been implemented by highly trained clinicians, which have supervised its implementation on a large scale. Moreover, the behavior program is dependent on readily available rewarding experiences, which anhedonia obviously challenges. Furthermore, mechanistic evaluation is impeded by intra¬- and inter-¬individual variability in exposure to rewarding stimuli. Virtual Reality (VR) offsets these barriers by repeated controlled immersion in experiences designed to enhance approach motivation, initial responsiveness to reward attainment, and reward learning. In this current study, the investigators aim to measure clinical outcomes using Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT).
open to eligible people ages 18-65
Affect, or the tendency to experience a given emotion, often is subdivided into two domains. Positive affect is the tendency to experience positive emotions, such as happiness, excitement, elation, and enthusiasm. Negative affect is the tendency to experience negative emotions, such as anger, resentment, sadness, anxiety, and fear. Humans exhibit a range of emotions that span across positive and negative affect domains with some individuals experiencing more of one type of affect than another. Recent research and developing theories have suggested that mental health disorders can be conceptualized as the tendency for an individual to fall into one or more extremes on these categories. Therefore, treatments should not be based on targeting a conglomeration of symptoms (as we have been doing for the past century) but rather they should be treating the underlying dysregulation (e.g., high or low positive and negative affect). In an effort to address this gap, the current study plans to recruit participants for a treatment trial consisting of two psychotherapies: (a) positive affect treatment (PAT), and (b) negative affect treatment (NAT). The overarching goal of this project are to evaluate the target (i.e. potential mechanisms) of PAT. Participants will be randomized to either a 15-week positive (PAT) or negative affect treatment (NAT). Participants will also complete four laboratory visits (before treatment, during treatment (two times), and at post-treatment) to measure potential targets or mediators of PAT. These laboratory-based assessments will included measures of the positive affect system such as behavioral, subjective, and psychophysiological responses to reward, anticipation and motivation, reward attainment, and reward learning.
Sorry, not yet accepting patients
Compelling evidence indicates inflammation plays a role in depression, but potential mechanisms linking inflammation to depression, such as dysregulated reward processing, are poorly understood. This study comprehensively evaluates effects of inflammation on reward across dimensions (e.g., anticipating versus receiving a reward) and types (e.g., money vs. smiling faces) in younger and older women. Characterizing how inflammation shapes the dynamic and multidimensional reward system, and how this may differ by age, may give insight into risk factors for depression and help identify critical points for intervention.
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This study aims to investigate the benefit of administering Bupropion XL (BUP-XL) to heavy smokers who also experience psychiatric symptoms.
at UCLA UCSD