Adjunctive Treatment of Major Depression Utilizing Auricular Acupuncture

Conditions:Depression, Depression, Major Depression Disorder (MDD)
Therapuetic Areas:Psychiatry / Psychology, Pulmonary / Respiratory Diseases
Age Range:18 - 24
Start Date:August 2015
End Date:May 2016
Contact:John Prater, DO

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This will be a randomized, single blind study of 6 weeks duration involving the use of
auricular acupuncture or sham acupuncture in the adjunctive treatment of depression in
college students.

This will be a randomized, single blind study of 6 weeks duration involving the use of
auricular acupuncture or sham acupuncture in the add adjunctive treatment of depression in
college students. College students presenting for care at Counseling and Psychological
Services, who meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - V (DSM-V)
criteria for major depression single episode or recurrent will be included in the trial.
Subjects will be randomized into a sham auricular acupuncture group, or a treatment
acupuncture group. All subjects who meet the inclusion criteria will be treated with the
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Lexapro 10 mg daily which will be increased to
20 mg daily at week 2. Some subjects will be treated twice weekly during their follow-up
visits with sham auricular acupuncture, some subjects will be treated with micro-currents of
electricity in the auricular acupuncture group. The duration of the trial will be 6 weeks.

Auricular acupuncture is a form of acupuncture which utilizes the surface of the external
ear to identify points of inflammation in the body. It does this, in this case, by utilizing
the Pointer Excel II probe which can pick up a change in electrical conductivity on the
surface of the ear, which reflects an internal point of inflammation or stress. Once the
point of inflammation is identified, the Pointer Excel II is equipped with a sensor that it
will not only illuminate by way of a small light on the front of the probe will also
identify the point of inflammation by way of an auditory signal. Once the point of
inflammation is identified auricular acupuncture will treat that point with a micro-current
of electricity for several seconds. In the case of treatment, there will be an auditory
alarm followed by a micro -current dose of electricity. Sham acupuncture will be
characterized by the auditory alarm, but no current will be applied to the participants ear.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Meets DSM-V criteria for major depression single episode or recurrent as a primary
diagnosis. Participants must have been symptomatic with depression for 2 months or
more and less than 18 months.

Exclusion Criteria:

- a current diagnosis or history of alcohol or substance abuse or dependence that has
not been in full and sustained remission for 3 months

- any current psychiatric diagnosis which is the primary focus of treatment other than
major depression

- current history of mania or hypomania, schizophrenia, or any psychotic disorder,
obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism spectrum conditions, organic mental disorders
or mental disorders due to a physical condition

- the participant has a history of lack of response to a previous adequate treatment
with 2 antidepressants for major depression at a standard dose for at least a
six-week period of time

- any axis II disorder

- if the participant is female the participant agrees to use adequate contraception
from the signing of the informed consent and throughout the study and for 30 days
afterwards. pregnant or lactating females or those intending to become pregnant
during the study are excluded

- if the participant is unlikely to comply with a clinical study protocol or is
unsuitable for the study as determined by the principal investigator

- if the participant has clinically significant unstable physical illness such as
neurologic disorders, diabetes, immunologic disorders, or any disturbance of a
metabolic nature which may compromise the study

- the participant has a risk of suicide according to the investigators clinical
judgment and according to the screening instruments used in the trial

- the subject has started receiving formal cognitive psychotherapy within 30 days from
screening or plans to initiate such therapy during the study.
We found this trial at
Fort Myers, Florida 33965
Phone: 239-590-7950
Fort Myers, FL
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