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Schizophrenia clinical trials at UC Health
23 in progress, 15 open to eligible people

  • A Study of the Effects of Brain Stimulation on Higher-Order Cognition

    open to eligible people ages 18-35

    The purpose of this study is to better understand the neural correlates of higher-order cognition, both in the healthy brain and in schizophrenia, and to determine how these mechanisms are modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) at frontal and occipital scalp sites. Testing the effects of tDCS at these scalp sites on cognitive task performance will help us understand the roles of the brain regions corresponding to these sites during higher-order cognitive processing (language comprehension, cognitive control, and related attention and memory processes). Behavioral and electrophysiological (EEG) measures will be used to assess cognitive performance. The investigator's overarching hypothesis is that stimulating prefrontal circuits with tDCS can improve cognitive control performance, and ultimately performance on a range of cognitive tasks, as compared to stimulating a different cortical region (occipital cortex) or using sham stimulation. This study is solely intended as basic research in order to understand brain function in healthy individuals and individuals with schizophrenia. This study is not intended to diagnose, cure or treat schizophrenia or any other disease.

    at UC Davis

  • Adjunctive Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) for Persistent Symptoms in People With Schizophrenia

    open to eligible people ages 18-64

    To determine whether a standardized extract of Withania somnifera will reduce psychopathology scores (PANSS total score) in persons with schizophrenia. A secondary aim is to determine whether WSE reduces measures of positive and negative symptoms (PANSS subscales) and stress scores on the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS).

    at UCLA

  • Adult Study Oxytocin - Behavioral

    open to eligible males ages 18-45

    In this study, investigators will examine the behavioral effects and neurophysiological mechanisms of the pro-social neuropeptide oxytocin in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Such research is a necessary first step towards identifying whether intranasal oxytocin administration can serve as an adjunct treatment for social impairments in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Aim 1: To quantify the effects of exogenous oxytocin on social cognition and behavior in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia. Hypothesis A: Patients and healthy comparison subjects will show enhanced social cognition (e.g., improved interpretation of paralinguistic and emotional cues, such as those involved in emotional or sarcastic communication) after administration of oxytocin versus placebo. Hypothesis B: Patients and healthy comparison subjects will show increased attention to others' eyes and patients will exhibit increased facial affect expressivity after administration of oxytocin versus placebo.

    at UCSF

  • Clinical Trial Evaluating the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of Cariprazine in a Dose-Reduction Paradigm in the Prevention of Relapse in Patients With Schizophrenia

    open to eligible people ages 18-64

    1. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of cariprazine at a target dose of 4.5 mg/d compared with placebo in prevention of relapse in patients with schizophrenia 2. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of cariprazine at a target dose of 3.0 mg/d compared with placebo in prevention of relapse in patients with schizophrenia who were initially stabilized on a target dose of 4.5 mg/d

    at UCSD

  • Enhancing Cognitive Training Through Exercise Following a First Schizophrenia Episode

    open to eligible people ages 18-45

    This is a confirmatory randomized controlled trial of the efficacy of a novel intervention combining neuroplasticity-based cognitive training with aerobic exercise, compared to the same systematic cognitive training alone. Treatment occurs for 6 months after randomization, with a followup assessment at 12 months. The investigators hypothesize that combining neuroplasticity-based computerized cognitive training and neurotrophin-enhancing physical exercise will produce neurotrophin increases and cognitive and functional improvements, even relative to cognitive training alone. The investigators target the period shortly after a first episode of schizophrenia to maximize the generalization of cognitive improvement to functional outcome, before chronic disability is established.

    at UCLA

  • Memantine Effects on Sensorimotor Gating and Neurocognition in Schizophrenia

    open to eligible people ages 18-50

    This application seeks to determine if neurophysiological metrics of memantine (MEM)-enhanced early auditory information processing (EAIP) in schizophrenia (SZ) mediate gains in auditory processing fidelity (APF) and auditory learning.

    at UCSD

  • Mobile CBT for Negative Symptoms

    open to eligible people ages 18-60

    This randomized controlled clinical trial will test a combined group contact plus mobile CBT-informed skills training intervention targeting defeatist attitudes in consumers with schizophrenia in comparison to a supportive contact control group in order to change motivational negative symptoms linked to defeatist attitudes.

    at UCSD

  • Multi-component Intervention for Diabetes in Adults With Serious Mental Illness

    open to eligible people ages 18-65

    Persons with schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses have a high risk for type 2 diabetes and an increased risk of premature mortality compared to the general population. The goals of the proposed study are to implement a multimodal lifestyle intervention to reduce that risk in these individuals living in residential care facilities, a common housing modality for people with serious mental illnesses. If successful, this intervention will lead to reduction in excess medical comorbidity and mortality in persons with serious mental illnesses.

    at UCSD

  • Novel Pharmacotherapy Approaches in Smokers With Serious Mental Illness

    open to eligible people ages 18-70

    Approximately 60 chronic smokers with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who are motivated to try to quit smoking will be randomized to receive smoking cessation treatment with the FDA-approved medication, varenicline, delivered either a) at its standard dose and titration schedule (half of the participants) versus b) at a lower dose and slower titration schedule (the other half), for 12 weeks. All smokers will choose a target quit date sometime between 8 to 35 days after starting the medication. All participants will receive ten 30-minute sessions of a behavioral treatment called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Participants will be followed for an additional 12 weeks off study medication. The major endpoint is the feasibility of combining ACT with the different dosing strategies. Investigators will also conduct a blood test that measures the breakdown of nicotine in the body to explore whether that measure influences treatment response and side effects.

    at UCSD

  • Pharmacokinetics of Understudied Drugs Administered to Children Per Standard of Care

    open to eligible people ages up to 21 years

    Understudied drugs will be administered to children per standard of care as prescribed by their treating caregiver and only biological sample collection during the time of drug administration will be involved. A total of approximately 7000 children aged <21 years who are receiving these drugs for standard of care will be enrolled and will be followed for up a maximum of 90 days. The goal of this study is to characterize the pharmacokinetics of understudied drugs for which specific dosing recommendations and safety data are lacking. The prescribing of drugs to children will not be part of this protocol. Taking advantage of procedures done as part of routine medical care (i.e. blood draws) this study will serve as a tool to better understand drug exposure in children receiving these drugs per standard of care. The data collected through this initiative will also provide valuable pharmacokinetic and dosing information of drugs in different pediatric age groups as well as special pediatric populations (i.e. obese).

    at UCLA UCSD

  • Pharmacologically-augmented Cognitive Therapies (PACTs) for Schizophrenia.

    open to eligible people ages 18-55

    This application seeks renewed support for MH59803, "Dopaminergic substrates of startle gating across species," to extend a clear path of "bench-to-bedside" progress towards a critical paradigm shift in therapeutic models for schizophrenia (SZ) and schizoaffective disorder, depressed type (SZA): the use of Pharmacologic Augmentation of Cognitive Therapies (PACTs). This novel therapeutic strategy for SZ/SZA directly addresses the need for more effective treatments for this devastating disorder. MH59803 has investigated the neural regulation of laboratory-based measures of deficient information processing in SZ/SZA patients, using rodents and healthy human subjects (HS) to explicate the biology of these deficits, and to establish a rational basis for developing novel therapies for SZ/SZA. In its first 9 years, MH59803 studies of the neural regulation of prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle in rats focused on basic neurobiological and molecular mechanisms. Over the past 2 years of support, MH59803 studies moved "from bench-to-bedside," focusing on dopamine (DA) agonist effects on PPI and neurocognition in HS, and their regulation by genes identified in cross-species studies. These studies detected biological markers that predict PPI-enhancing and pro-cognitive effects of the DA releaser, amphetamine (AMPH) in humans, leading to specific predictions of AMPH effects on PPI, neurocognition and Targeted Cognitive Training in SZ/SZA patients. If confirmed in the present application, these predictions could help transform therapeutic approaches to SZ/SZA. This renewal application of MH59803 thus reflects a logical progression of studies at systems and molecular levels, translated first to HS, and now to potentially transformative therapeutic models in SZ/SZA patients.

    at UCSD

  • Target Engagement and Response to Oxytocin

    open to eligible people ages 18-65

    This study will measure whether the engagement of intranasal oxytocin with a brain target is related to effects on learning during a social cognition training program.

    at UCLA

  • The Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on the Neuronal Mechanisms of Cognitive Control in Schizophrenia

    “Help us develop new treatments for patients who have difficulty with brain functions such as reasoning, including schizophrenic patients”

    open to eligible people ages 18-35

    The purpose of this study is to better understand the neural correlates of cognitive control (CC) deficits in schizophrenia and determine how these mechanisms can be modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). CC is a critical neurocognitive process that is required for flexible, directed thought and action based on goals and intentions. Identifying and developing paradigms to improve CC is therefore a mental health priority. Current theories of CC postulate that recruitment of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is essential for this process by maintaining high-level information that it can then use to orchestrate patterns of activation in other brain networks to support optimal performance. tDCS is a safe, noninvasive method of modulating regional brain excitability via brief (15-20 m) application of a weak (1-2 mA) current. The goal of the proposed experiments is to combine tDCS with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test the hypotheses that 1) acute tDCS over the DLPFC can improve performance during a CC task (the dot pattern expectancy (DPX) variant of the AX-Continuous Performance Task) in schizophrenia patients and healthy control subjects, and 2) acute tDCS over the DLPFC can increase recruitment of the DLPFC during the DPX. Effects of tDCS on brain functional connectivity (during CC as well as during the resting state) will also be examined, as well as effects on an episodic memory task. The current study will be the first to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the effects of tDCS on the neuronal mechanisms of CC in schizophrenia, and has potentially important implications for therapeutic development for this treatment refractory yet disabling aspect of the illness.

    at UC Davis

  • This Study Tests Whether BI 409306 Prevents Patients With Schizophrenia From Becoming Worse. This Study Looks at How Well Patients Tolerate BI 409306 and How Effective it is Over 6 Months

    open to eligible people ages 18-55

    The objective of the study is to investigate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of BI 409306 once daily compared with placebo given for 28 weeks in patients with schizophrenia on antipsychotic treatment. The study is designed to show superiority of BI 409306 over placebo in preventing relapse of schizophrenia symptoms.

    at UCLA

  • Treatment of Cognitive and Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia With N-acetylcysteine

    open to eligible people ages 18-65

    The purpose of this study is to attempt to treat cognitive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, with the nutritional supplement N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that affects approximately 65 million people worldwide, and causes significant disability and suffering. Patients with schizophrenia often hear voices and have persecutory delusions. Though these are the most recognizable features of the illness, the deficits most closely linked to disability are known as cognitive deficits and negative symptoms. Cognitive abilities refer to the ability to perform mental tasks that require focus and attention, and also include memory and verbal skills. Negative symptoms refer to a lack of interest in the world, and decreased social interactions. In our study, the investigators aim to improve these symptoms and deficits by targeting the glutamate system. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, and its regulation is abnormal in schizophrenia: glutamate levels are too low at some receptors, and too high at others. As well, free radicals surrounding glutamate receptors also interfere with their proper function. N-acetylcystine (NAC) is a safe and widely-available dietary supplement that may restore glutamate to its correct levels in the brain, and may also help protect the brain from antioxidant damage. In our study, patients with schizophrenia will be randomly assigned to receive either NAC or placebo for 8 weeks. Brain levels of glutamate and an important antioxidant, glutathione, will be measured before and after treatment, using a neuroimaging technique known as magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Cognitive and negative symptoms will also be assessed before, during and after treatment. The investigators hypothesize that glutamate and glutathione will be normalized in patients' brains, and that their negative and cognitive symptoms will be improved, too.

    at UCLA

  • A Pharmaco-imaging Approach to Predicting Social Functioning and Clinical Responses to Oxytocin Administration in Schizophrenia

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    Schizophrenia has a devastating and disproportionate effect on veterans compared to the general US population. Some of the most disabling symptoms, such as low motivation, difficulty expressing emotions, and decreased ability to infer the mental states of others, cause poor social functioning. This means that veterans with schizophrenia have trouble navigating interpersonal interactions and building meaningful relationships in the community. Unfortunately, current antipsychotic medications typically only improve positive symptoms but fail to improve social functioning deficits, which are strong predictors of poor quality of life and functional outcomes. Oxytocin, a peptide found in the brain, plays an important role in social behavior and is known to moderate affiliation, stress, and learning across taxa. In this study, the investigators will test whether oxytocin could be an effective treatment for social functioning deficits in schizophrenia. The investigators will examine changes in brain activation to understand how oxytocin affects behavior and to predict which individuals may benefit from oxytocin treatment.

    at UCSF

  • Development of a Mobile Heath Augmented Brief Suicide Prevention Intervention for People With SMI

    Sorry, accepting new patients by invitation only

    Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are associated with high risk for suicide, yet there are few brief interventions that directly target suicide prevention in this large population. The goal of this intervention development study is to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of a brief intervention called SafeTy and Recovery Therapy (START) that is augmented with content delivered on mobile devices outside of the clinic setting. The intervention will evaluated in a community urgent care center context as people initiate outpatient care, and, if effective, could be deployed in a wide network of such centers.

    at UCSD

  • Effects of Cannabidiol on Psychiatric Symptoms, Cognition, and Cannabis Consumption in Cannabis Users With Recent-Onset Psychosis

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    A large proportion of people with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, especially in the early stages of the disease, regularly consume cannabis. Cannabis use is associated with poor prognostic outcome; however, there are no effective interventions targeted at reducing cannabis use or its deleterious effects in this population. The present trial is designed to test whether cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid whose effects are in many ways antagonistic to those of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can reduce psychiatric symptoms, cognitive deficits, and cannabis use in people with recent-onset psychosis who regularly consume cannabis.

    at UCLA

  • Mobile-Assisted Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    This clinical trial will test a combined group therapy plus mobile cognitive behavioral therapy intervention targeting defeatist attitudes in consumers with schizophrenia in order to change motivational negative symptoms linked to defeatist attitudes.

    at UCSD

  • Neurofeedback to Improve Working Memory in Schizophrenia

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    Schizophrenia affects 2.4 million Americans and causes significant individual and societal costs. Cognitive deficits including poor working memory arise early in the course of illness, account for poor long-term outcomes and have been difficult to treat with available treatments. The investigators are proposing to develop a novel, computer-based brain training to improve working memory in schizophrenia patients, which, if successful could have significant personal, societal, and economic impact.

    at UCSD

  • Open-label Study of the Efficacy of Intranasal Oxytocin in Schizophrenia

    Sorry, currently not accepting new patients, but might later

    The Objective of this study is to investigate the long-term efficacy of intranasal oxytocin in improvement of symptoms in patients with schizophrenia who have residual symptoms dispute being on adequate treatment with antipsychotic medication.

    at UCSD

  • Oral Risperidone Versus Injectable Paliperidone Palmitate for Treating First-Episode Schizophrenia

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    This study will determine the efficacy of oral risperidone (Risperdal) versus long-acting injectable paliperidone palmitate (Invega Sustenna) in treating people with first-episode schizophrenia.

    at UCLA

  • Project Bridge: Peer Health Navigator Intervention

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    The mortality rate among people with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) is 2 to 3 times that of the general population, meaning that those with a serious mental illness die, on average, 25 years earlier than those without an SMI. These deaths are largely attributed to preventable medical conditions, many of which are more common in the SMI population. The "Bridge" intervention is a peer navigator model that was developed to target factors that negatively impact healthcare access, utilization, and outcomes among individuals with serious mental illness (e.g., severe mood disorders and psychotic disorders). This intervention targets male and female, adult consumers across races/ethnicities and has been utilized by Pacific Clinics (Southern California's largest behavioral healthcare agency) and the Department of Mental Health of Los Angeles County to improve the health and quality of life for their consumers. Investigators will test the comparative effectiveness of a peer navigator intervention (the Bridge) to treatment as usual. The Bridge navigator intervention is designed to teach SMI consumers the skills to engage health care providers and to overcome motivational deficits in order to improve their health and healthcare use. The specific aims of this application are: 1. To use randomized methods to examine the effectiveness of the Bridge intervention on the health care utilization, satisfaction with care, health status, and health care self-management for a sample of individuals with severe mental illness receiving public mental health services in the community; 2. To use randomized methods to examine the effectiveness of the Bridge intervention on psychological and social well-being for a sample of individuals with severe mental illness receiving public mental health services in the community. Up to 146 participants in an Full Service Partnership (FSP) clinic operated by Pacific Clinics will be recruited to participate in an approximately 24 month long study of Bridge navigation. Participants will be randomly assigned to either treatment as usual (waitlist) or immediate intervention with the Bridge. Participants in both groups will complete three assessments (baseline, 6 months, 12 months) and statistically compared over time. Staff stakeholders (n = 20) will also be interviewed at baseline and every three months of the study in order to ensure that the intervention is being implemented appropriately.

    at UCLA

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