Mobile cognitive control training for the treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Period of Performance: 09/01/2017 - 08/31/2018


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Posit Science Corporation
Principal Investigator


Project Summary Abstract The primary objective of the current project is to develop and evaluate the feasibility of mobile cognitive- control training program for the treatment of those who are suffering from co-morbid Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Unlike previous AUD interventions that may overlook the role of co-occurring psychopathology, those that target ?trans-disease? cognitive deficits for remediation represent an innovative, evidence-based, and potentially high-yield approach for optimizing recovery outcomes and reducing chronic impairment among vulnerable individuals with co-occurring AUD and PTSD. This novel therapeutic strategy is designed to (1) broadly assess cognitive and functional abilities, then (2) train cognitive abilities with the specific goal of strengthening cognitive systems that mediate core deficits in AUD and PTSD, and (3) continuously inform clinicians about patient compliance and treatment progress via a Cloud-based patient-to-clinic portal. Also, brief self-report of daily alcohol use and PTSD status shall provide data useful for both evaluating real-world outcomes and product model acceptability. In the first specific aim, we will define a set of enhancements to make the user experience and the game play sufficient to motivate the continued use of the program. We will then employ established methods of software design and development and iteratively refine the implemented design to complete the development of the enhanced program for a feasibility trial (specific aim 2) conducted locally, in collaboration with the research team at the Palo Alto VA Health Care System. Given the ease of access of mobile-based training and online monitoring of AUD-PTSD status, this project should result in the development of a new, powerful tool to provide effective adjunctive therapy that results in far greater treatment outcome among individuals with co-occurring AUD and PTSD.