Anhedonia clinical trials at UC Cancer
3 research studies 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.
Our lead scientists for Anhedonia research studies include Zafiris Daskalakis, MD, PhD Chloe C Boyle, PHD.