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Dr. sc. hum. Christian Paret

AE Foundation: BrainBoost A Neurofeedback Booster for Emotion Regulation Therapy. 07/2020-12/2022.

In the planned set of studies, we will use neurofeedback to augment psychotherapy in patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) at risk for failure to benefit from psychotherapy treatment. The package comprises a proof-of-concept trial located at Mannheim and a feasibility trial at Yale. Proof-of-concept trial: Three sessions of real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) neurofeedback will be administered to N=22 patients with BPD while they receive residential Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) treatment. In addition, outcomes are assessed from a control group with same sample size who do not receive the treatment. Feasibility trial: The Mannheim neurofeedback protocol will be implemented at Yale University in New Haven, CT. To demonstrate feasibility of the protocol, three sessions of real-time fMRI neurofeedback will be administered to N=10 patients with BPD during DBT treatment. Neurofeedback will be used to consolidate skills the patients learned during psychotherapy. Patients observe the effect of regulation on the amygdala, which is hyperactivated in Borderline, reflecting enhanced emotional reactivity and emotion dysregulation. Observing the effect of emotion regulation on the very same brain system that generates emotional experiencing can enhance awareness of effective self-regulation and identification of helpful strategies. We assume that adjuvant neurofeedback treatment can support DBT to facilitate therapeutic effects. In follow-ups three and six months later, we will test how neurofeedback improves emotion in everyday life using questionnaires and ecological momentary assessment (also named ambulatory assessment). The proof-of-concept trial aims to explore utility of this approach, compared to a matched control group receiving treatment as usual (TAU). The feasibility study complements proof-of-concept and aims to establish the protocol at Yale and establish international collaboration. The Yale site was selected as an ideal setting to extend the work of the Mannheim group due to the presence of a well-established neurofeedback research group led by Michelle Hampson, a well-established DBT therapy program led by two DBT trainers, and a growing BPD research program led by Sarah Fineberg. The implementation of the two studies together lays groundwork for future multi-site randomized controlled trials to investigate effectivity of the approach. It is the first time that neurofeedback is used to boost psychotherapy outcomes for patients with Borderline. If effective, the approach could significantly reduce suffering of patients and burden of disease in the US and Europe.

Paret C. DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst : Methods for real-time BOLD signal extraction. 01/2019-12/2020.

To identify optimal signal processing parameters for successful brain self-regulation training with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Paret C. DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft PA 3107/1-1: Neurofeedback-assisted treatment of posttraumatic stress: From lab to clinics. 01/2017-12/2018.

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) -