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Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences ~ Dr. Scheeringa's Lab: Neurobiology of CBT Treatment Response

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One mission of the next generation of clinical trials is to refine and personalize treatment approaches so that we get the right treatments to the right persons sooner.  To do that, it seems that we need to understand the ways that all of the neurobiological systems react simultaneously, not the traditional method of studying one system at a time.  

The aim of this study is to gather an unprecedented amount of data on how neurobiology systems change during the course of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).  For studying a wide net of variables (heart rate reactivity, epigenetic methylation, gene expression, and cortisol reactivity collected pre-, during, and post-treatment), we view an n-of-a-few-cases design an advance over traditional single-main-effects study designs.  These data may be used to develop combinatorial diagnostic and computer simulation approaches to understanding systems that surpass the capacity of the human mind to process.

Immediate ways that these may be useful include to determine at an assessment who is going to respond to certain types of therapy and who are not; personalized medicine to adjust the type, timing, and dose of psychotherapy or medication.

For more information on this study, you may contact Dr. Scheeringa at mscheer@tulane.edu