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The study aims to examine whether the neurofeedback method (based on functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI]) can help patients with alcohol dependence to control their urges to drink alcohol and thus to remain abstinent. Potential effects of neurofeedback on abstinence and drinking behaviour will be evaluated based on the comparison between a group of patients receiving multiple sessions of neurofeedback training and a group of patients receiving treatment as usual over the same period of time.
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive neuroscientific tool in which participants receive real-time feedback about their brain activity while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. Previous research has shown that participants can successfully use the feedback to self-regulate their brain responses. In this study patients who have successfully completed a detoxification programme will be trained to down-regulate responses of motivational brain regions that are activated during exposure to alcohol-related stimuli (pictures of alcoholic drinks). The investigators hypothesise that learning to self-regulate these neural responses will enable patients to better control craving responses to environmental alcohol cues after detoxification treatment. Patients in the intervention group will undergo 6 neurofeedback training sessions, spread across 4 months. Outcomes of the training will be compared with a group of patients who will not do the neurofeedback training but receive standard treatment (e.g. support groups and medication).
Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment
School of Medicine, Cardiff University
Not yet recruiting
Published on BioPortfolio: 2015-07-02T07:53:24-0400
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