Embodied Virtual Reality Therapy for Functional Neurological Symptom/ Conversion Disorder

Conditions:Neurology, Neurology, Neurology, Psychiatric
Therapuetic Areas:Neurology, Psychiatry / Psychology
Age Range:18 - Any
Start Date:May 2016
End Date:January 2020
Contact:Kim D Bullock, MD

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Safety and Feasibility of Virtual Reality Therapy for Functional Neurological Symptom/Conversion Disorder

The purpose of this study is to design and test the safety and feasibility of virtual
reality technologies and experiences of egocentric avatar embodiment in the application of
physical and cognitive behavior therapy in functional neurological symptom/conversion
disorder. Investigators hypothesize that patients will safely use and accept this modality
of treatment and will show evidence of a decrease in symptom frequency.

This is a treatment development trial, participants randomly assigned to active treatment
will be enrolled in embodied Virtual Reality therapy. The therapy will be based on
principals of exposure and behavioral shaping therapies and mirror visual feedback therapy.
The therapy will be delivered over 8 sessions and modified as indicated by clinical
feedback. A fixed protocol will be developed with exact methods to be used to be determined.
After a fixed protocol has been established, a treatment manual will be created to use in
further controlled trials.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Adults 18-65 years, who are diagnosed with functional neurologic symptom or
conversion disorder. If diagnosis of seizure type then video EEG with diagnosis
confirmed by board-certified neurologist with subspecialty training in epilepsy and
clinical neurophysiology using the criteria of the International Classification of
the Epilepsies is required. If diagnosis of motor type, documented and clinically
established levels of diagnostic certainty (Williams,1995) confirmed by 2
neurologists is required.

- Participants must have at least one symptom per month in the month prior to

- Fluency in English spoken language

Exclusion Criteria:

- Nonfluency or inability to communicate in English spoken language

- Inability to participate or attend biweekly 30 minute session over 14 weeks

- Frank psychosis

- Active self harm urges

- Serious medical illness

- Active substance or alcohol use or dependence that could interfere with participation

- Diagnoses of mental retardation, dementia or delirium

- Pregnant women
We found this trial at
450 Serra Mall
Stanford, California 94305
(650) 723-2300
Phone: 650-498-9111
Stanford University Stanford University, located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of...
Stanford, CA
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