The long-term objective of this Patient-Oriented Mentored Career Development Award (K23) is to support the development of the candidate in translational cognitive neuroscience and clinical trials for mood and anxiety disorders. This will be accomplished through a structured supervised research experience and formal instruction that will focus on the training areas of (1) Clinical Research Methodology, Treatment Development, Biostatistics and Ethics;and (2) Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. The specific objective of the proposed research is to conduct a proof-of-concept study investigating the efficacy of a novel cognitive training paradigm on improving depression, cognitive and affective processing biases, and neurocognition. The proposed research translates a well established cognitive bias in major depressive disorder (MDD), working memory bias, into a novel intervention target. In a double-blind, randomized, controlled study, MDD participants will undergo 6 weeks of cognitive training sessions, with three sessions per week, There is an urgent public health need to develop more effective and well tolerated treatments for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD);cognitive training interventions aiming to modify cognitive and affective processing abnormalities underlying MDD represent a promising new strategy. The skills and data acquired and research methods developed during the K23 award period will provide the candidate with the tools required to achieve the long-term goal of becoming an independent investigator in translational cognitive neuroscience research in mood and anxiety disorders.
There is an urgent public health need for more effective treatments for major depressive disorder (MDD), a disabling condition associated with significant morbidity, mortality and public health costs. A large proportion of MDD patients either fail to achieve an adequate therapeutic response to currently available treatments or cannot tolerate pharmacological interventions. The proposed study aims to evaluate the antidepressant effectiveness of a novel cognitive training intervention strategy and to characterize the cognitive and affective- processing effects of this training, in an effort to develop new, effective and well tolerated treatments for MDD.