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Dr. rer. nat., DClinPsy (German equivalent)
Senior Research Fellow
- Research Clinical Psychologist
Using neuroscience to develop ultra-brief combination treatments for anxiety disorders
Our research aims to identify the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying emotional disorders and their successful treatment, using behavioural and functional brain imaging approaches. We then use this knowledge to develop novel, ultra-brief psychological-pharmacological combination treatments, logically based on these key effects. Traditional cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) courses for anxiety disorders are long and time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to access.
We have recently shown that a well-designed single session of CBT already leads to drastic improvements in anxiety, with one third of patients being symptom free. Most importantly, this work has identified a neuropsychological mechanism that determines how well patients recover after CBT, with those patients improving particularly well who show a stronger attenuation in attention bias for threat stimuli immediately after CBT. Such findings have wide implications for the development of novel treatments. They suggest that optimal treatment doses might be much lower than previously thought, and that identifying add-on treatments boosting early bias reduction has the potential to develop minimal CBT designs into stand-alone treatments. Our current work explores the potential of several cognitive enhancers, such as the antibiotic cycloserine or the antihypertensive drug losartan, in improving CBT for anxiety disorders by targeting its underlying mechanisms of action.
Our work is funded by the Medical Research Council, The Oxford University Press John Fell Fund, and MQ: Transforming Mental Health.
If you are suffering from panic disorder you may be eligible for one of our on-going studies offering free cognitive-behaviour treatment. Please get in touch for more information.
A role beyond learning for NMDA receptors in reward-based decision-making-a pharmacological study using d-cycloserine.
Scholl J. et al, (2014), Neuropsychopharmacology, 39, 2900 - 2909
Predicting rapid response to cognitive-behavioural treatment for panic disorder: The role of hippocampus, insula, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
Reinecke A. et al, (2014), Behaviour Research and Therapy, 62, 120 - 128
Optimizing the ingredients for imagery-based interpretation bias modification for depressed mood: is self-generation more effective than imagination alone?
Rohrbacher H. et al, (2014), J Affect Disord, 152-154, 212 - 218
Changes in automatic threat processing precede and predict clinical changes with exposure-based cognitive-behavior therapy for panic disorder.
Reinecke A. et al, (2013), Biol Psychiatry, 73, 1064 - 1070
Cognitive-behavior therapy resolves implicit fear associations in generalized anxiety disorder.
Reinecke A. et al, (2013), Behav Res Ther, 51, 15 - 23
Assessment of automatic associations with bodily sensations and agoraphobic situations in panic disorder.
Woud ML. et al, (2016), J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry, 52, 105 - 109
Development of a dyspnoea word cue set for studies of emotional processing in COPD.
Herigstad M. et al, (2016), Respir Physiol Neurobiol, 223, 37 - 42
Different neural and cognitive response to emotional faces in healthy monozygotic twins at risk of depression.
Miskowiak KW. et al, (2015), Psychol Med, 45, 1447 - 1458
Effective emotion regulation strategies improve fMRI and ECG markers of psychopathology in panic disorder: implications for psychological treatment action.
Reinecke A. et al, (2015), Transl Psychiatry, 5
Different neural and cognitive response to emotional faces in healthy monozygotic twins at risk of depression
Miskowiak KW. et al, (2015), Psychological Medicine, 45, 1447 - 1458