Skip to main content

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders clinical trials at UCSF
9 in progress, 3 open to new patients

  • A Study of Brain Aging in Vietnam War Veterans

    open to eligible people ages 50–90

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common combat related problems and may be associated with a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The purpose of this study is to examine the possible connections between TBI and PTSD, and the signs and symptoms of AD on Veterans as they age. The information collected will help to learn more about how these injuries may affect Veterans of the Vietnam War as they grow older, as well as Veterans of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who also have these types of combat related injuries.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Comparative Effectiveness Research in Veterans With PTSD

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    VA Cooperative Study CSP #591 is designed to compare the effectiveness of two types of psychotherapy, Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy, for treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in male and female Veterans. Despite solid evidence that both treatments are effective in Veterans and non-Veterans, there is a lack of evidence about the effectiveness of these treatments compared with one another. The sample will include 900 male and female Veterans with PTSD due to any traumatic military event. Veterans who are eligible and agree to participate in the study will be randomly assigned (by chance) to receive Prolonged Exposure or Cognitive Processing Therapy. The standard "dose" of treatment is 12 weekly sessions but Veterans who improve more rapidly may finish in fewer sessions and Veterans who improve more slowly may have additional sessions. The primary outcome is improvement in PTSD symptoms after treatment. The outcome will be measured at regular follow-up visits that will occur at the middle and at the end of treatment and then 3 and 6 months later. The investigators will measure other outcomes, including additional mental health problems, functioning, quality of life, and use of treatments for mental and physical problems. The investigators also will measure Veterans' treatment preference and examine whether Veterans who get the treatment they prefer do better than Veterans who get the less-preferred treatment. As a large multi-site trial with men and women, CSP #591 is designed to provide conclusive information about whether one treatment is better than the other, overall and for different types of patients-for example, men vs. women, combat Veterans vs. Veterans who experienced military sexual trauma, and older vs. younger Veterans. Regardless of the outcome, patients will have more information to help them make an informed decisions about which treatment to choose and VA will have stronger evidence to help make care Veteran-centered.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Rehabilitation of Executive Functioning in Veterans With PTSD and Mild TBI

    open to eligible people ages 18–75

    One of the most pressing concerns within the VA currently is the provision of interventions that address the cognitive as well as emotional problems faced by Veterans with concurrent mild TBI and PTSD. One purpose of this study is to learn more about how PTSD and mild brain injury influences how people think, act, and feel. This may include how people pay attention, keep information in memory, organize plans for achieving important goals, and manage stress. Another purpose of this research is to learn more about the effects of cognitive training on the thinking, behavior, and emotions of individuals with PTSD and mild brain injury - both in the short- and long-term. With this research, the investigators hope to better understand and treat cognitive and emotional difficulties that can occur due to PTSD and mild brain injury.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Improving Mind/Body Health and Functioning With Integrative Exercise

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    There is evidence demonstrating that aerobic exercise improves many symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) including; anxiety, depression, insomnia, and cognition. With the goal of using exercise as a rehabilitation therapy for Veterans with PTSD, a team of scientists and doctors developed a 12-week exercise program, combining aerobic and strength training with concentration training and mindful breathing techniques. The initial pilot study suggested that Integrative Exercise may improve overall quality of life, sleep quality, cardiovascular fitness, and PTSD symptoms. This new study will help determine the effectiveness of Integrative Exercise compared to health education classes. The overall goal is to determine if integrative exercise is an effective rehabilitation intervention for combat Veterans with PTSD.

    San Francisco, California

  • Inflammation and Threat Sensitivity in PTSD

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    The overall goals of this study are to examine the relationship between chronic inflammation and threat and reward sensitivity, and to determine the effects of acute inflammation on threat sensitivity, in individuals with and without moderate to severe PTSD symptoms. The investigators will first conduct an observational study to examine the relationship between chronic inflammation and neural and behavioral measures of threat sensitivity. Then, the investigators will conduct a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subjects study to examine the effects of acute inflammation on neural and behavioral measures of threat sensitivity.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Open Label Multi-Site Study of Safety and Effects of MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for Treatment of PTSD

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    This multi-site, open-label, Phase 2, lead-in study assesses the safety and effect of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy in participants diagnosed with at least severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therapy teams that have been identified and trained to work on the sponsor's planned Phase 3 studies will treat at least one open-label participant in this study. The study will be conducted in up to N=60 participants. A flexible dose of MDMA, followed by a supplemental half-dose unless contraindicated, is administered during the Treatment Period with manualized psychotherapy in three open-label monthly Experimental Sessions. This ~12-week Treatment Period is preceded by three Preparatory Sessions. During the Treatment Period, each Experimental Session is followed by three Integrative Sessions of non-drug psychotherapy. The Primary Outcome measure, the change in Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM 5 (CAPS-5) from Baseline. Exploratory measures will address specific symptoms, such as sleep quality, or behavior that is sometimes related to PTSD. Drug safety will be assessed by measuring blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature during experimental sessions, collecting adverse events and measuring suicidal thoughts or behaviors with the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (CSSRS). This study will compare the effects of three open-label manualized Experimental Sessions of psychotherapy assisted by flexible doses of MDMA. Initial doses per Experimental Session include 80 mg or 120 mg of MDMA compounded with lactose, followed 1.5 to 2 hours later by a supplemental half-dose (40 mg or 60 mg). Total amounts of MDMA to be administered per Experimental Session range from 80 mg to 180 mg.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation After Military Trauma With Adaptive Disclosure

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    The aim of this study is to determine the efficacy of Adaptive Disclosure for Moral Injury and Loss (AD-MIL), a combat-specific psychotherapy for war-related PTSD stemming from Moral Injury (MI) and traumatic loss (TL) with Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans with PTSD. AD-MIL will be compared to Present Centered Therapy (PCT). AD-MIL is a modified version of Adaptive Disclosure (AD), which has been modified and extended to solely treat MI and TL by targeting psychological and behavioral obstacles to occupational, relationship, and family functioning, as well as quality of life. PCT is a manualized evidenced-based PTSD treatment used in several large-scale PTSD trials. The primary end-point is psychosocial functioning (improvements in social, educational and occupational functions and improvements in quality of life). Secondary end-points include PTSD, depression, and shame and guilt. The investigators will also explore the impact of AD-MIL on anger and aggressive behaviors, suicidal ideation, and alcohol abuse.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Remotely Resolving Psychological Stress (Remote RePS)

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    The investigators have developed a mobile app called Resolving Psychological Stress (REPS) to help alleviate symptoms of PTSD. The app will administer threat-related attention bias modification to individuals who score high on a PTSD checklist. This study will be administered remotely to individuals in the United States. The aims of the study are to explore both the feasibility and acceptability of the app with it's users, as well as, explore the efficacy of the app at alleviating PTSD severity.

  • Perioperative Propranolol in Patients With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    Understanding what treatments may facilitate perioperative care of Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is of great importance to the U.S. health care system. Patients with PTSD are characterized by elevated central nervous system catecholamine concentrations and exaggerated and prolonged adrenergic responses to stress stimuli. At present, there are no data on the effects of perioperative beta blocker therapy in patients with PTSD, despite the rising significance of PTSD in Veteran populations. This prospective, double-blind study proposes to randomize 150 Veterans with PTSD scheduled for orthopedic, thoracic or vascular surgery at the San Francisco VA Medical Center to either a 14-day course of propranolol or placebo. This study will then follow these Veterans for a one-year period to evaluate the effects of the intervention on Veterans' surgical outcomes. The investigators hypothesize that patients with PTSD randomized to the propranolol group will demonstrate a reduced incidence of perioperative and postoperative morbidity and mortality.

    San Francisco, California