Locating Regions of Interest in Generalized Anxiety Disorder Using fMRI

This study consists of 2 visits: an intake assessment and an MRI visit. Participants will complete 4 tasks in the scanner in order to locate areas of the brain associated with anxiety and worry. Participants are paid for the MRI visit. 

Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living, Yale University School of Medicine
Principal Investigator: 
Gretchen Diefenbach, PhD
Eligibility Criteria: 

Individuals with the following will be considered for this study:


  • Diagnosed with GAD as the principal or co-principal disorder
  • Clinical Global Impression Score ≥ 4
  • Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale ≥ 18
  • Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression ≤ 17
  • Fluency in English
  • Capacity to understand the nature of the study and willingness to sign informed consent form

A control group of participants will also be enrolled who have no current (past 3 months) psychiatric disorders and no current or past psychiatric treatment.

Exclusion Criteria: 

Individuals with the following will not be considered for the study:

  • History of epilepsy or head trauma (LOC > 5 minutes) within the past 6 months. Lifetime history of increased intracranial pressure, seizure disorder, stroke, brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, or brain surgery
  • A review of patient medications by the study physician indicates an increased risk of seizure
  • An active autoimmune, endocrine, viral, or vascular disorder affecting the brain; any unstable cardiac disease; hypertension; or severe renal or liver insufficiency
  • Substance use disorder or post traumatic stress disorder within the past 6 months. Lifetime obsessive-compulsive disorder,bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder, mental retardation, or pervasive developmental disorder. Any psychotic features, including dementia or delirium
  • Concurrent psychotherapy and unwillingness to discontinue
  • Medication change within past 3 months
  • Current serious suicidal or homicidal ideation, and/or serious suicidal attempt within past 6 months
  • Serious, unstable, or terminal medical condition or clinically judged too psychiatrically unstable to participate in the study
  • Any contraindication for participation in MRI scan
Laura Bragdon, 860-545-7386, lbragdon@harthosp.org
Hartford, CT
Study End Date: 
Sun, 2014-06-01

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