for people ages 13-25 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Robert Asarnow, PhD (ucla)



The current project will examine the effect of a brief psychological intervention on post-concussion symptoms, neurocognitive function, cerebral blood flow (CBF), and psychophysiological and salivary cortisol markers of autonomic nervous system (ANS) in a sample of 20 participants between 13-25 years of age who experience long-term post-concussive (PC) symptoms 2-9 months post-injury as well as 20 age- and sex-matched controls (non-injured) participants to provide normative data on all the above measures except for concussive symptoms.

Official Title

Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Patients With Chronic Post-Concussion Symptoms


Participants with concussion will participate in six, home-based interventions designed to treat cognitive-behavioral factors that are maintaining their symptoms. The investigators hypothesize that the prolonged PC symptoms are in part due to disruption of autonomic nervous system function post-injury as well as exacerbation by the psychological response to the injury. This hypothesis is based on evidence showing that PC symptoms, including headache, fatigue, dizziness, and heightened anxiety overlap with upregulated sympathetic activity and elevated levels of salivary cortisol. There is evidence linking cognitive-behavioral factors (e.g., catastrophizing) to prolonged symptoms of autonomic overactivation after injury (e.g., anxiety, pain, etc.). The participants are taught shallow breathing techniques to normalize parasympathetic activity and provide cognitive-behavioral treatment to reduce psychological reactions to the injury that exacerbate the autonomic disruption and prolong recovery.


Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Concussion Post Syndrome, post-concussion syndrome, autonomic dysfunction, concussion, capnometry-assisted respiratory training, cognitive behavioral therapy, Brain Injuries, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Brain Concussion, Psychological Intervention, Persistent Post-Concussion Symptoms


You can join if…

Open to people ages 13-25

for patients:

- Between the ages of 13-25 - Diagnosed with a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury by a physician - Currently experiencing post-concussive symptoms for at least two months after their injury but no longer than 9 months. - Fluent English speaker

You CAN'T join if...

  • History of/or comorbid neurological conditions that might affect performance (including history of stroke, seizure disorder, moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, anoxia)
  • Severe cardiovascular conditions.
  • History of psychosis and current substance abuse or dependence.
  • Current severe symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.

    Additional Exclusion Criteria for Controls: * No history of concussion in the past year.


  • University of California, Los Angeles accepting new patients
    Los Angeles California 90095 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health

  • Robert Asarnow, PhD (ucla)
    Robert F. Asarnow, Ph.D., holds the Della Martin Chair of Psychiatry.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Los Angeles
Study Type
Expecting 40 study participants
Last Updated