The research projects

The Bergen 4-Day Treatment provides a stringent approach to induce rapid and lasting clinical change, suggesting that the adult brain is capable of plastic changes. As such, the B4DT offers an elegant tool to uncover the mechanisms of brain plasticity in the mature brain with profound implications for understanding numerous psychiatric disorders as well as learning and behaviour in general. 


The partners in BCBP

Bergen Research Foundationthe Kavli TrustHaukeland University Hospital and the University of Bergen have joined forces to establish a new mental health research centre in Bergen, Norway: The Bergen Center for Brain Plasticity.

  

"The B4DT protocol’s concentrated structure makes it an ideal paradigm to examine how the brain can rapidly learn new emotional processes, says Kerry Ressler, chief scientific officer at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts and one of the scientists involved in this project. Other goals of this work, he adds, include identifying biological markers—in blood, saliva or through neuroimaging—that can pinpoint patients who will best respond to this type of treatment and to gain new insights to help inform future therapies". 

Read the press release from Bergen Research Foundation. For a list of our publications see this page

Brain imaging (fMRI) 

The Bergen 4-day Treatment helps many patients with OCD to recover, but what happens in the brain when they do so? The Bergen Center for Brain Plasticity will study changes in the brain directly after treatment. Brain imaging is performed the day before treatment starts, one week afterwards, and after three months. The combination of concentrated treatment and imaging directly after treatment gives a unique opportunity to help us understand how treatment changes the brain.

Dr. Odile van den Heuvel will together with Dr. Olga Ousdal head the brain imaging project. 

Read more about our fMRI studies


Genetics 

OCD: Novel Comparative Genomic Approaches to Identify Disease and Treatment Mechanisms

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a neuropsychiatric condition that causes enormous human suffering and cost to society. OCD and other anxiety disorders have an estimated heritability of around 50%. So far genetic studies have lacked the power to identify genes implicated in anxiety disorders. 

Reserchers from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and Aarhus University, established a consortium (NORDiC). Through this we aim to markedly increasing the worldwide sample size for genomic analysis, in a first step toward elucidating the fundamental biology of this condition.

Drs. James D. Crowly and Jan Haavik will be heading the genetic studies
 
Read more about our genetic study NORDiC

Epigenetics 

“The B4DT protocol’s concentrated structure makes it an ideal paradigm to examine how the brain can rapidly learn new emotional processes, says Kerry Ressler, chief scientific officer at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts and one of the scientists involved in this project. Other goals of this work, he adds, include identifying biological markers—in blood, saliva or through neuroimaging—that can pinpoint patients who will best respond to this type of treatment and to gain new insights to help inform future therapies”.
Epigenetic team

Drs. Kerry Ressler and Stephanie le Hellard will be heading the epigenetic parts of the project.
More information on our epigenetic studies will be added later. 

Treatment studies 

The B4DT is a practical, evidence-based, focused and deliberate exposure based treatment. It builds on four decades of empirical research and theories about the most effective approach to OCD  treatment. The innovation and strength of the work is how it combines the most effective elements of proven treatment into one of the most profound, rapid, and robust treatment approaches that we have seen in recent years.

Recently TIME Magazine selected Gerd Kvale and Bjarne Hansen to be on the list as two of 50 Most Influential People in Health Care for 2018, based on their work with the B4DT . 
Drs. Gerd Kvale and Bjarne Hansen will together with Dr. Thröstur Björgvinsson be heading the psychological parts of the research project, with Dr. Lars-Göran Öst as a core collaborating partner.

Current and previous studies: 

The Bergen 4-day treatment for OCD: A randomized trial

​Professor Gerd Kvale and associate professor Bjarne Hansen at the OCD-team at Haukeland University Hospital, have developed a concentrated format (The Bergen 4-day treatment) of delivering exposure based treatment. The format is now being evaluated in a randomized trial.
Read more about our ongoing RCT


The difficult to treat anxiety patient: New treatment approaches: A multicenter study

Our multicenter study investigates if the combination of concentrated, prolonged exposure-based treatment (The Bergen 4-day treatment) and the NMDA agonist d-cyloserine (DCS), enhance and stabilize treatment effects for difficult to treat patients. 
 

Changing the specialist mental health care: The Concentrated Treatment Format

The team was newly awarded funding for the study «Changing the specialist mental health care: The Concentrated Treatment Format ». The study will compare The Bergen 4-day format to treatment as usual in five disorders; panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, depression and body dysmorphic disorder.


Sleep disturbance in treatment-seeking OCD-patients

Although we have a fair amount of knowledge regarding obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the treatment, little is known about sleep patterns in patients with the disorder. Does sleep patterns affects treatment outcome or change as a result of treatment.







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