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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Type of registration
Retrospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Scientific title
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy to Document Alterations to Neurochemistry Associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Secondary ID [1] 291876 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 303169 0
Condition category
Condition code
Mental Health 302632 302632 0 0
Other mental health disorders

Study type
Patient registry
Target follow-up duration
Target follow-up type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Volunteers who decide to participants will need to sign and return the Consent Form prior to the commencement of the following sequential study procedures:

Telephone Screen
Upon receipt of a signed Consent Form the participants will be contacted by the research nurse who will conduct a telephone screen to check your initial eligibility for the study. This telephone screen will be carried out at a time convenient to you and will take approximately 30 minutes.

During this telephone screen the research nurse will ask you questions relating to your current medications, previous history of any mental health condition, previous history of injuries to your head or neck and past medical history.

Online Survey
If the research nurse confirms that you meet the initial eligibility to continue in the study you will be asked to complete an online survey. This survey will be sent by email to you for you to complete. Your name will not appear on the survey it will be replaced with a unique participant number. This survey will ask you more in-depth questions about your previous medical history including any history of depression and/or anxiety, any drug and alcohol use, previous head injury and/or pain. You will be asked to complete the survey on your own and it is expected to take you approximately 30 minutes.

The research nurse or study psychologist will contact you soon after you have completed the online survey to discuss any queries or concerns that may have arisen for you as a result.

Psychological Assessment
If you are confirmed to be eligible to continue to participate in the psychological assessment, an appointment will be made for you with the study’s clinical psychologist. In this study the researchers prefer this assessment to be carried out face-to-face, However, we recognise that this may not possible for all participants because of the distance they are from the study site. For participants who are unable to attend a face-to-face interview, which will be conducted in the Clinical Research Facility at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, than the clinical psychologist will conduct this assessment via Skype or telephone at an appointed time.

The clinical psychologist will perform the psychological assessment using a structured interview process which includes the completion of questionnaires. The WebNeuro cognitive assessment that will be required to be complete online assesses your motor tapping, choice reaction time, verbal memory-recall and digit span. This assessment takes approximately 30 – 60 minutes to complete.

If you are confirmed to be unsuitable to continue participation in the study during this assessment then the clinical psychologist will inform you of this either during or after your assessment. If you require further clinical follow up or require ongoing psychological support, the study psychologist will provide a written referral to your local doctor or alternatively refer you to the public mental health care system closest to you.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
If you are confirmed to be eligible to proceed on to have the imaging of your brain then the research nurse will arrange an appointment visit for you at one of the following facilities:

- Herston Imaging Research Facility, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital campus, Bowen Bridge Road, Herston
- Princess Alexandra Hospital Medical Imaging Department, Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba
- Hunter Medical Research Institute Imaging Centre, John Hunter Hospital campus Newcastle, Lookout Road, Newcastle

During your visit to the imaging facility you will be required to undergo two non-invasive imaging procedures with a clinical scanner used for routine testing. Your two scan procedures will be done in a single visit on the same day with a short break in between.

For the 1st MRS scan you will be require to lie in the scanner for approximately 40 minutes. During this scan images of your brain and information on its chemistry will be obtained.

The 2nd MRI scan is a functional MRI and will assess the blood flow in different areas of your brain. This scan will take approximately 45 minutes. These are additional MR scans which you would not be undergoing unless you were part of the study.
Intervention code [1] 297995 0
Diagnosis / Prognosis
Comparator / control treatment
A healthy control group will be used throughout this study. Healthy controls are volunteers who do not meet criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 302024 0
To explore the possibility of neurochemical markers of confirmed PTSD using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.
Timepoint [1] 302024 0
You will be booked in for your MRI/MRS imaging at the earliest convenience. Imaging is completed within four weeks of your enrolment into the study. There is no requirement for any follow up imaging.
Secondary outcome [1] 334675 0
To ascertain the differences in neurochemistry between individuals with confirmed PTSD and healthy controls using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.
Timepoint [1] 334675 0
Data Analysis will be completed within a 3 year timeframe.

Key inclusion criteria
PTSD Cohort - Inclusion Criteria
-Diagnosis of PTSD made according to the DSM-V

Healthy Control Cohort - Inclusion Criteria
-N previous diagnosis of PTSD
-No history of psychiatric illness
-No chronic medical conditions
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
60 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
-Current substance use disorder.
-Lifetime history of substance dependence.
-Current diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia, Psychosis or Bipolar disorder.
-History of childhood trauma such as abuse
-Previous history of head injury or loss of consciousness (significance of this will depend on when the injuries occurred – will be assessed with questionnaire).
-Use of benzodiazepines; anticonvulsants; mood stabilisers within the last 4 weeks of MR scan.
-Contraindication to MRI scanning including shrapnel or any mental implants.
-Current pregnancy.
-History of meningitis.
-History of a chronic serious medical condition.
-History of chronic inflammatory disease.
-Structural brain injury or abnormality.
-Neurological disorders.
-High dependency on medical care.

Study design
Defined population
Statistical methods / analysis
30 PTSD participants are required with 30 age and gender matched healthy controls.

Analysis of biochemical markers will be achieved via measuring chemical peaks on the Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy images and compared with healthy controls.

Recruitment status
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)
Recruitment hospital [1] 7942 0
Princess Alexandra Hospital - Woolloongabba
Recruitment hospital [2] 7943 0
John Hunter Hospital - New Lambton
Recruitment hospital [3] 7944 0
Royal Brisbane & Womens Hospital - Herston
Recruitment postcode(s) [1] 15912 0
4102 - Woolloongabba
Recruitment postcode(s) [2] 15913 0
2305 - New Lambton
Recruitment postcode(s) [3] 15914 0
4029 - Herston

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 296377 0
Government body
Name [1] 296377 0
Australian Department of Defence
Address [1] 296377 0
DTSO Technology Partnerships Office
PO Box 1500 Edinburgh SA 5111
Country [1] 296377 0
Primary sponsor type
Translational Research Institute
36 Kent St
Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Secondary sponsor category [1] 295323 0
Name [1] 295323 0
Address [1] 295323 0
Country [1] 295323 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 297614 0
Metro South Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [1] 297614 0
36 Kent Street
Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Ethics committee country [1] 297614 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 297614 0
Approval date [1] 297614 0
Ethics approval number [1] 297614 0
Ethics committee name [2] 297615 0
Australian Defence Research Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [2] 297615 0
Ethics committee country [2] 297615 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [2] 297615 0
Approval date [2] 297615 0
Ethics approval number [2] 297615 0
Protocol 732-16

Brief summary
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a complex condition where sufferers are affected by a varying range of symptoms following an exposure to a traumatic situation or event. Sufferers may experience symptoms such as recurrent and intrusive thoughts, nightmares, flashbacks, or distress and avoidance of situations that are similar to the event that first occurred.

It is not yet known why some people experience PTSD following a traumatic event and others do not. This research study aims to try to determine if the chemicals that allow the brain to carry out its normal functions are different in a person who suffers from PTSD when compared to a person who does not.

In this study researchers will use a technique called Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) to look for any changes in the normal chemistry of the brain. The researchers will then compare the images obtained from participants who have PTSD with those who do not.

The researchers conducting this study hope that by using MRS to look for and isolate any abnormalities in the brain chemicals of those with PTSD this may lead to improvements in the diagnosis and treatment for PTSD suffers in the future.

MRS is a non-invasive medical test. It is conducted on the same machine as conventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. The MRI scan uses a powerful magnet, radio waves, and a computer to create detailed images. MRS is a series of tests that are added to an MRI scan to measure the chemical properties of molecules in cells and tissues.

In this study MRI will be used to take anatomical images of your brain and MRS will be used to provide detailed information about the nature and chemical environment of the molecules in your brain.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes
Attachments [1] 1701 1701 0 0
Attachments [2] 1702 1702 0 0
Attachments [3] 1703 1703 0 0

Principal investigator
Name 74594 0
Prof Carolyn Mountford
Address 74594 0
Translational Research Institute
36 Kent Street
Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Country 74594 0
Phone 74594 0
Fax 74594 0
Email 74594 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 74595 0
Mrs Lisa Rich
Address 74595 0
Princess Alexandra Hospital
199 Ipswich Rd
Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Country 74595 0
Phone 74595 0
Fax 74595 0
Email 74595 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 74596 0
Prof Graham Galloway
Address 74596 0
Translational Research Institute
36 Kent Street
Woolloongabba QLD 4102
Country 74596 0
Phone 74596 0
Fax 74596 0
Email 74596 0

No data has been provided for results reporting
Summary results
Not applicable