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Schizophrenia clinical trials at UCSF
2 in progress, 1 open to eligible people

  • 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.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • 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.

    San Francisco, California