Anhedonia clinical trials at University of California Health
8 in progress, 5 open to eligible people
Aging and Reward System Response to Inflammation and Anxiety Study
open to eligible people ages 60-80
The purpose of this study is to use an experimental inflammatory challenge to examine whether older adults with symptoms of anxiety experience loss of pleasure or loss of motivation when they are exposed to inflammation. Loss of pleasure or loss of motivation will be evaluated using self-report questionnaires, computer tasks, and during a brain scan.
Computational Cognitive Training To Boost Reward Responsiveness In Anhedonic Patients
open to eligible people ages 18-65
Anhedonia, i.e., reduced positive mood and decreased sensitivity to rewards, is observed in many psychiatric illnesses, particularly depression and anxiety disorders. Untreated anhedonia predicts worse clinical outcomes and poorer response to treatment, yet cognitive behavioral treatment approaches to target anhedonia are fraught with poor patient compliance in real-life settings. The proposed study aims to address this gap by 1) testing the usefulness of a non-invasive, computationally informed, cognitive training in boosting reward sensitivity and reducing anhedonia in depressed and anxious patients, and 2) delineating the neurocomputational mechanisms of change associated with such intervention. In other words, can we train the brain to obtain rewards and boost positive mood among depressed and anxious individuals? This project will help to develop a computational training protocol aimed at reducing anhedonia and improving existing interventions for psychiatric conditions characterized by reward processing deficits. Long-term goals include expanding this framework to a broader range of appetitive and social stimuli to develop precise cognitive training tools to treat anhedonia.
Individualized Neuromodulation for Anhedonic Depression
open to eligible people ages 18-80
This program of research constitutes a three-arm, randomized, placebo-controlled trial testing noninvasive brain stimulation for the treatment of anhedonic depression. This trial is part of a larger, three-site study that will be conducted at UCSD, Stanford University, and Cornell University, with the overarching goals to compare competing interventions tested at each site and to combine data that will allow for the creation of an end-to-end model of anhedonic depression. By doing this, the investigators hope to gain insight and lead to the development of brain-behavior biomarkers to identify who is best suited for the different treatment options tested at each site. An additional exploratory objective is phenotyping anhedonic depression from the acquired measures. Anhedonic patients recruited at UCSD will be randomized to one of three treatment arms to receive different forms of accelerated intermittent theta burst stimulation (aiTBS),a novel form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) that is an FDA approved treatment for depression. These arms include: individualized accelerated iTBS (Ind-aiTBS),based on both the frequency of brain responses and electric-field (e-field) modeling of brain bioconductivity; standard accelerated iTBS (Std-aiTBS); and accelerated sham iTBS(sham). Treatment will be delivered on an accelerated schedule, over one week. Additional study sessions will occur both before and after treatment to assess for clinical, neurophysiological, and cognitive measures that will allow for both individualization of treatment and detailed assessment of the effects of the different treatment arms.
Proof of Mechanism Study for the Treatment of Social Anhedonia in ASD
open to eligible people ages 13-30
This project will use the experimental medicine approach of a Phase IIa Proof of Mechanism 16-week, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of L-DOPA versus placebo administration in combination with a 16 week social skills training group in order to: 1) identify differences in social reward processes in adolescent and young adult ASD participants versus healthy controls as measured by fMRI activation in reward circuitry; 2) provide evidence of dopaminergic moderating effects on social reward components in ASD with greater pre- to post-treatment changes expected in the subjects randomized to L-DOPA versus placebo; 3) examine the hypothesis that baseline readouts of putative dopamine signaling (wanting activation responses) will predict the extent of fMRI reward-related activation changes pre- to post-treatment; and, 4) examine the proposed relationship between pre- to post- L-DOPA fMRI reward changes and changes in individual self-report ratings of social wanting and ratings of videotaped positive affect in a structured interaction with an examiner. The study will enroll 56 participants with DSM-5 ASD between the ages of 13-30 years of age and 18 healthy control participants without histories of psychopathology for baseline comparisons.
Virtual Reality-Reward Training for Anhedonia
open to eligible people ages 18 years and up
The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT) with an active control condition, Virtual Reality-Memory Training (VR-MT), on positive affect and other clinical symptoms. VR-Reward Training is a novel intervention aimed at enhancing savoring of positive experiences among individuals with depression and low positive affect through guided imaginal recounting following immersion in positive VR experiences. Target enrollment is 80 male and female participants with low positive affect, depression, and impaired functioning, who are at least 18 years old, who will be randomly assigned to 7 weeks of either Virtual Reality-Reward Training (VR-RT) or Virtual Reality-Memory Training (VR-MT). Participants will complete in-person VR sessions, laboratory assessments, self-report questionnaires as part of the study. The total length of participation is around 3 months.
Determining the Role of Social Reward Learning in Social Anhedonia
Sorry, not yet accepting patients
This is a clinical trial study that aims to evaluate the specificity of the relationship between reduced sensitivity to social reward and social anhedonia at both behavioral and neural levels. Individuals who recently experienced their first-episode psychosis will be recruited. Participants will be randomized 1:1 to motivational interviewing or a time- and format-matched control probe. At pre- and post-probe, participants will perform two social reward learning tasks in the scanner. With this design feature, we will examine the relationship between sensitivity to social reward and reduced subjective experience of social pleasure at both the behavioral and neural levels.
High Dose Bupropion for Smoking Cessation
Sorry, not yet accepting patients
This study aims to investigate the benefit of administering Bupropion XL (BUP-XL) to heavy smokers who also experience psychiatric symptoms.
at UCLA UCSD
Sleep and Healthy Aging Research on Depression for Younger Women
Sorry, in progress, not accepting new 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.
Our lead scientists for Anhedonia research studies include Michael F Green, PhD Keith H Nuechterlein, PhD Zafiris Daskalakis, MD, PhD Katia Harle Michael R Irwin, MD Chloe C Boyle, PHD James T McCracken, MD.