Cognitive Training for Emotion Regulation in Psychotic Disorders

University of Georgia (UGA) logo

University of Georgia (UGA)

Status

Enrolling

Conditions

Schizophrenia
Schizo Affective Disorder

Treatments

Behavioral: Placebo working memory training
Behavioral: Emotional working memory training

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other

Identifiers

NCT04414215
00001377

Details and patient eligibility

About

The current study examines the efficacy of a cognitive training intervention for improving emotion regulation in psychotic disorders. it is hypothesized that the cognitive training program will enhance prefrontal activation, leading to enhanced emotion regulation.

Full description

Psychotic disorders are serious and debilitating mental illnesses that incur substantial suffering for patients and present major challenges to our health care system. Difficulties with emotion regulation (i.e., the ability to control the emotion response using strategies) significantly predict the development and maintenance of psychotic symptoms and poor community-based functional outcomes. Recent neuroimaging research indicates that hypofrontality may underlie these deficits. Unfortunately, there is no accepted technique for remediating these emotion regulation abnormalities in psychotic disorders. Recent advances from the field of cognitive neuroscience provide hope for a resolution to this critical unmet need in psychotic disorder therapeutics, demonstrating that brief computerized cognitive training interventions are capable of improving emotion regulation ability by targeting neural activation in the prefrontal cortex. The goal of the proposed project is to determine whether an emotional working memory cognitive training program is effective for remediating emotion regulation abnormalities and associated clinical outcomes in people with psychotic disorders. Outpatients with psychotic disorders will be randomly assigned to either an emotional working memory training (n = 35) or placebo (P: n = 35) cognitive training control intervention delivered via an app on a smart phone for 30 days. The primary aim is to determine whether the emotional working memory intervention successfully engages the target mechanism and enhances prefrontal activation on a non-trained emotion regulation transfer task beyond a pre-specified effect size criterion. Results will also be used to determine the treatment duration (15 vs. 30 days) that most effectively and efficiently improves the target.

Enrollment

70 estimated patients

Sex

All

Ages

18 to 60 years old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • diagnostic and statistical manual fifth edition diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
  • 18-60 years old
  • speaks English
  • premorbid intelligence quotient > 70
  • clinically stable as indicated by no antipsychotic medication changes in the last month or if on depot, no change in the past 2 months.

Exclusion criteria

  • history of intellectual disability or neurological disorder
  • history of traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness > 10 minutes or behavioral sequelae
  • substance use disorder within the last 6 months (other than nicotine)
    1. endorsement of MRI exclusion factors

Trial design

Primary purpose

Treatment

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

Single Blind

70 participants in 2 patient groups, including a placebo group

Cognitive training
Experimental group
Description:
Emotional working memory training
Treatment:
Behavioral: Emotional working memory training
Placebo training
Placebo Comparator group
Description:
Placebo working memory training
Treatment:
Behavioral: Placebo working memory training

Trial contacts and locations

1

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Central trial contact

Gregory P Strauss, PhD

Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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