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Clinical Studies


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  • A Randomized Controlled Trial of Electroconvulsive Therapy plus Usual Care versus Simulated-ECT plus Usual Care for the Acute Management of Severe Agitation in Alzheimer's Dementia (ECT-AD) (ECT-AD) Rochester, Minn.

    McLean hospital,  Mayo Clinic,  Emory University, LIJ/Northwell, and Pine Rest Mental Health are conducting a research study using Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)  to treat agitation in dementia. ECT is a treatment done under general anesthesia, in which brief electric currents are passed through the brain to trigger a brief seizure. It is a safe and highly effective treatment for depression.


    Agitation is common in nearly 60% of patients with dementia, increases caretaker burden, creates safety risk for individuals with dementia and others and increases risk for hospitalization and nursing home placement.


    While ECT is not widely used for the treatment of agitation in patients with dementia, several publications have demonstrated its ability to help for these problematic behaviors that can accompany dementia. We propose to address this critical need for a new intervention to treat severe agitation in dementia by conducting a single blind, randomized controlled trial of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

  • Decreasing Agitation in Patients with Dementia Through the Use of Weighted Blankets: A Pilot Study Rochester, Minn.

    The purpose of this study is to reduce behaviors and psychotic symptoms of dementia by using a weighted blanket as a non-pharmacological method to decrease agitation and distress in the elderly population.

  • Impact of Massage Therapy on the Quality of Life of Hospice Patients Rochester, Minn.

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of massage therapy on the quality of life for hospice patients.

  • MC1295, Phase I/II Cancer Caregiver Interventions to Improve Quality of Life and Prevent Burnout Jacksonville, Fla., Rochester, Minn. This study defines cancer caregivers as unpaid individuals who provide physical, practical, and/or emotional care and support to the cancer patient in the home setting. They may participate in this study if care recipients and the caregiver are both adults (18 years or older), with the patient having been diagnosed with cancer.The 8 intervention sessions will target the five domains of Quality Of Life (emotional, physical, social, cognitive, and spiritual well-being), be provided in group settings, and be delivered in two 45-minute sessions each week over a 4-week period.