Neural Mechanisms of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • End date
    Apr 6, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Michigan
Updated on 6 May 2021
psychiatric disorder
cognitive therapy
functional magnetic resonance imaging
sexual assault


This study will examine the effects of psychotherapy as treatment for PTSD, and specifically how brain activity and brain connectivity is affected by Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and an active mind-body comparison comparison therapy.


This research will see how brain activity and brain connectivity is affected by Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and an active comparison therapy called Muscle Relaxation Therapy (MRT). Participants that qualify to be in this study will be randomly assigned to receive 8 weeks of group therapy in either MBCT or MRT treatments. Prior to receiving therapy participants will: complete baseline assessments related to their PTSD; fill out surveys; have an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); and provide saliva samples. These assessments will be repeated after the therapy is over. Overall study participation should last approximately 10-12 weeks.

Condition Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, PTSD
Treatment Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Muscle Relaxation Therapy
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03874793
SponsorUniversity of Michigan
Last Modified on6 May 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Is your age between 18 yrs and 72 yrs?
Gender: Male or Female
Do you have any of these conditions: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Do you have any of these conditions: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD?
Do you have any of these conditions: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders or PTSD?
Meets current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) criteria for PTSD (with or without Major Depressive Disorder); type of trauma is not restricted and can include interpersonal violence, combat, and sexual assault, etc

Exclusion Criteria

Dissociative PTSD
Delayed-onset PTSD
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contraindications (e.g. metal in body, inability to be in the scanner - claustrophobia, severe back pain, etc.)
Serious medical or neurologic conditions (e.g. stroke, seizures)
Suicide risk
Life history of schizophrenia
Life history of bipolar disorder
Current substance dependence
Other factors that preclude safe and meaningful participation in the study, at discretion of the PI and study team
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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