Last updated on February 2018

Combating Craving With Contingency Management: Neuroplasticity and Methamphetamine Abuse in South Africa


Brief description of study

This study will correlate MA-abstinence outcomes from an 8-week contingency management (CM) program of voucher- based incentives using an escalating schedule that has been successfully implemented as an adjunct to MA treatment by the investigators collaborators in the United States. Pre- and post- treatment neuroimaging and neurocognitive assessments will assist in identifying structures and/or processes that may represent targets for development of novel behavioral and/or medication therapies.

Detailed Study Description

Methamphetamine addiction (MA) is a global health problem with high prevalence and great social and health costs in the United States and in the Republic of South Africa, and there is a strong need for development and implementation of effective MA treatment approaches. This study will correlate MA-abstinence outcomes from an 8-week contingency management (CM) program of voucher- based incentives using an escalating schedule that has been successfully implemented as an adjunct to MA treatment by the investigators collaborators in the United States. Pre- and post- treatment neuroimaging and neurocognitive assessments will assist in identifying structures and/or processes that may represent targets for development of novel behavioral and/or medication therapies.

The study has two specific aims: (1) to determine whether changes in neural function within frontostriatal circuitry from baseline to end of the 8- week CM program are associated with parallel changes in measures of cognitive control and impulsivity and with MA abstinence outcomes; (2) to determine whether structural changes in frontostriatal circuitry over the 8-week CM intervention correspond with neurocognitive, psychological and MA abstinence measures. Findings from this study will describe associations between: (1) functional and structural indices of brain areas that support working memory, cognitive control/inhibition; (2) performance on select neurocognitive and psychological assessments; and (3) associations between these with MA abstinence outcomes. Study activities and the neuroscience data generated will provide preliminary data for a larger, adequately powered study that will test ways to optimize behavioral therapies for treating stimulant use disorder.

Furthermore, the public health relevance of this study is enhanced by its effort to develop capacity for a productive and impactful neuroscience research agenda between groups of strong clinical scientists in the U.S. and in the Republic of South Africa.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02948868

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University of Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa
0.23miles
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Recruitment Status: Open


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