Neuromodulation and Cognitive Training for Substance Use Disorders


The relapsing nature of Stimulant use disorder is a major obstacle to successful treatment. About 70% of those entering treatment will relapse within one year. To improve treatment outcome, new interventions targeting the underlying brain biomarkers of relapse vulnerability hold significant promise in reducing this critical public health problem. The overarching goal of this project is to expand the traditional expertise in non-invasive neuromodulation at the University of Minnesota towards developing novel paired-neuromodulation approaches using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for new addiction treatments that support long-term abstinence. This study will allow us to investigate whether the pairing of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) stimulation and cognitive training can lead to improved treatment outcomes as it pertains to executive functioning and maintenance of abstinence. This paired-neuromodulation approach can potentially be used as a therapeutic intervention to decrease relapse probability in addiction. The long term goal is to develop new addiction treatments that support long-term abstinence.

I'm interested

18 Years to 65 Years old
This study is NOT accepting healthy volunteers
Inclusion Criteria:

• Abstinent from any substance or alcohol use (excluding caffeine or nicotine) for a minimum of 3 weeks at study enrollment
• Has the intention to remain in their treatment program(s) until the end of the intervention portion of the study.
• Able to provide written consent and comply with study procedures.
• Meets the MINI 7 diagnostic criteria for either stimulant use disorder (SUD) or alcohol use disorder (AUD).
Exclusion Criteria:

• Any medical condition or treatment with neurological sequelae (i.e. stroke, tumor, HIV)
• Over 9 months of abstinence from substance use
• A head injury resulting in a loss of consciousness exceeding 30 minutes (i.e., moderate or severe TBI)
• Presence of a condition that would render study measures difficult or impossible to administer or interpret
• Age outside the range of 18 to 65
• Primary current substance use disorder diagnosis (according to MINI 7 diagnostic criteria) for a substance other than stimulant or alcohol, except for caffeine or nicotine (Nicotine use will be recorded but is not exclusionary)
• Entrance to the treatment program under a court mandate. (i.e. legally incarcerated)
• History of ECT or cortical energy exposure within the past 6 months, including participation in any other neuromodulation studies

Device: tDCS, Behavioral: Cognitive Training

Stimulant Use, Alcohol Use Disorder

tDCS, Cognitive Training, Plasticity

Melanie Stimac -
Kelvin Lim
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