CO2 Reactivity as a Biomarker of Non-Response to Exposure-Based Therapy
Anxiety-, obsessive-compulsive and trauma- and stressor-related disorders reflect a significant public health problem. This study is designed to evaluate the predictive power of a novel biomarker based on a CO2 challenge, thus addressing the central question "can this easy-to-administer assay aid clinicians in deciding whether or not to initiate exposure-based therapy?"
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Eligible Ages
- Between 18 Years and 70 Years
- Eligible Genders
- Accepts Healthy Volunteers
- A primary DSM-5 diagnosis of panic disorder (with or without an agoraphobia diagnosis), social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder as assessed by the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-5 (SCID-5) - A score of 8 or greater on the Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS) - Ages 18 to 70 - Willingness and ability to provide informed consent and comply with the requirements of the study protocol. - Proficiency in English (because assessment instruments have only been validated in English)
- A lifetime history of bipolar or psychotic disorders, substance use disorders (other than nicotine) or eating disorder in the past 6 months; serious cognitive impairment. - Active suicidal ideation with at least some intent to act with or without specific plan (a rating of 4 for suicidal ideation on the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale) or suicidal behaviors (actual attempt, interrupted attempt, aborted or self-interrupted attempt, or preparatory acts or behavior) within the past 6 months. - Medical conditions contraindicating CO2 inhalation or hyperventilation challenge (e.g., cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac failure, asthma, lung fibrosis, high blood pressure, epilepsy, or stroke). - Pregnancy or lactation - Ongoing psychotherapy directed toward the primary disorder. - Pharmacological treatment started within 8 weeks prior to the screen (patients "stable" on their medication regimen will be included and their medication status will be included as a variable in the model)
- Study Type
- Intervention Model
- Single Group Assignment
- Primary Purpose
- None (Open Label)
Open Exposure-Based Therapy (EBT)
|All participants will receive a well-established psychological treatment.||
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Michael Otto, Ph.D.
- University of Texas at Austin
Exposure-based therapy is an effective first-line treatment for anxiety-, obsessive-compulsive and trauma- and stressor-related disorders. However, many patients fail to respond or achieve remission with exposure-based therapy, resulting in prolonged suffering, loss of productivity, and poorly used resources. Making available a biomarker assay that can aid clinicians and patients in treatment selection has the potential to have considerable public health impact. Basic research on fear extinction--a core mechanism of action of exposure-based therapy--may inform the development of a biomarker for the selection (yes/no) of exposure-based therapy. Growing evidence links orexin system activity to deficits in fear extinction. Our group has demonstrated that reactivity to CO2 challenge, which is a safe, affordable and easy-to-implement procedure, can serve as a proxy for orexin system activity and predicts fear extinction deficits in rodents. Building upon this basic research, the goal for the proposed study is to validate CO2 reactivity as a biomarker of exposure-based therapy non-response. To this end, we will assess CO2 reactivity in 600 adults meeting for one or more fear- or anxiety-related disorders prior to providing open, state-of-the art, transdiagnostic exposure-based therapy. By incorporating CO2 reactivity into a multivariable model predicting treatment non-response that also includes reactivity to hyperventilation as well as a number of related and theoretically-relevant prognostic variables, we will establish the mechanistic specificity and the additive predictive value of the putative biomarker. By developing models independently within two study sites and predicting the other site's data, we will validate that the results are likely to generalize to future clinical samples. The proposed study represents a necessary stage in translating basic research to strategies for treatment selection. The investigation addresses an important public health issue by testing an accessible clinical assessment strategy--informed by basic research--that may lead to a more effective treatment selection (personalized medicine) for patients with anxiety- and fear-related disorders and enhance our understanding of the mechanisms governing exposure-based therapy.