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Clinical Trial Summary

This research focuses on youth with conduct disorder (CD), and a history of violence. CD is a youth neurodevelopmental disorder that is commonly associated with criminality. Although psychosocial interventions that address impulsivity and self-control have been shown to be effective at helping promote prosocial behavior in patients with CD, the biological changes that occur as a result of treatment are not well understood. This study will explore changes in the brain function of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in response to a common psychosocial intervention (Stop, Now and Plan). This study will contribute to our understanding of biological mechanisms involved in therapeutic gains among children with behavioural problems and youth offenders; therefore, it will inform further development of treatment programs for children/youth with impulsive behaviours.


Clinical Trial Description

CD is a youth-limited neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impulsivity and dysfunctional social behavior. CD is associated with increased risks of mortality, lower educational and occupational achievement, criminal behavior and other psychosocial difficulties, and hence presents a significant burden to society. Impulsivity is a prominent predictor of violence in CD. Treatment programs targeting impulsivity in CD have been shown to be effective at increasing pro-social functioning in CD, but the biological mechanisms that underpin these therapeutic gains are not well understood. Past research suggests that the ACC play a role in CD and impulsivity. This study explores biological and behavioral changes in response to Stop, Now and Plan (SNAP), a validated 13-week psychosocial intervention addressing impulsivity and self-control in youth.

The main hypotheses are:

(1) CD youth who respond to SNAP treatment will exhibit greater post-treatment ACC activation during an fMRI imaging task compared with their baseline, pre-treatment ACC activation.

The secondary hypotheses are:

(1) CD youth will exhibit lower ACC activation at baseline during an fMRI imaging task compared with the baseline ACC activation exhibited by typically developing youth. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT02998073
Study type Interventional
Source Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Contact Nathan Kolla, MD, PhD
Phone 4165358501
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date October 15, 2017
Completion date February 2021

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