Department of Psychiatry
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Current Research Projects

  1. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of adjunctive troriluzole in obsessive compulsive disorder

    Thompson Centre is participating in a multicenter clinical trial sponsored by Biohaven Pharmaceutical Inc. The study is an investigation of the effectiveness of a new glutamatergic drug troriluzole as an adjunctive treatment for OCD.

    We are recruiting individuals suffering from OCD:

    • Between 18-65 years old, with more than 1 year of illness
    • Must either be on an OCD antidepressant, or willing to start one (citalopram, escitalopram, clomipramine, venlaflaxine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline or desvenlafaxine)
    • Not pregnant or planning pregnancy during clinical trial

    Participation involves:

    • You will be randomly assigned to receive either the study drug (Troriluzole) or placebo for 12 weeks
    • You will have the option to get the study drug after the 12 week period if you continue with the study
    • Attending 7 visits to Sunnybrook Heath Sciences Centre (for physician assessments, blood tests, urine tests and to complete rating scales)
    • During the study, the use of medical or recreational marijuana and cannabdiol (CHD) oil is prohibited

    If you are interested in learning more about the study, please contact: Iaroslava C. Ramos, clinical research coordinator at

  2. Dr. Neil Rector, research director of the Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre in collaboration with Dr. Randi McCabe, director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic, St. Joseph's Hospital Hamilton, are currently recruiting participants for a treatment research study set to investigate the clinical benefits of mindfulness therapy. This study will explore mindfulness-based interventions in comparison to cognitive behaviour therapy for those with obsessive compulsive disorder, to test the comparative benefits and mechanisms of treatments. Participants will receive a 12-week virtual mindfulness-based or CBT intervention for OCD at no cost as well as a $100 gift card for their participation.

    If you are interested in participating or would like more info on this opportunity please email Shahana Sittampalamat:

  3. The Burden of OCD: How does Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) impact you and your caregivers’ lives?

    The Thompson Centre is conducting a study to learn more about the impact of OCD on people living with it and their caregivers. We aim to understand the effects of OCD on your life as a whole, including daily living functioning, burden of illness, and costs associated with the illness.

    We are looking for people on our waitlist with a primary diagnosis of OCD. Although having caregivers who are willing to participate is not required, it is highly encouraged. This study involves four onsite visits over a 24-36 month period. The Thompson Centre will provide a compensation of $15.00 per onsite visit.

    If you would like to participate or for more information, contact Iaroslava C. Ramos at

  4. Narrative therapy for OCD

    We are currently recruiting participants for a research study using 'narrative therapy' for treatment-resistant OCD.

    This study uses therapeutic writing, in group format. The group is for 20 weeks, two hours each week at Sunnybrook.

    If your main diagnosis is OCD and you have ongoing symptoms after having tried several treatments, you may be eligible.

    If you would like to participate or for more information, please contact Arachel Abella at

  5. Neurodevelopmental Risk for Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Pregnancy and the Post-Partum Period

    The perinatal period is recognized as a time of vulnerability for the development and exacerbation of mood and anxiety disorders. Of the anxiety disorders, OCD and GAD have particularly high incidence rates. The aim of this study is to learn more about neurodevelopmental risk factors to the onset of these perinatal disorders. We will examine the contribution of psychosocial stressors, biological/genetic factors, personality, and cognitive factors and the interaction between them in conferring risk for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

    Please note: recruits are no longer being accepted for this study.

  6. Focused Ultrasound for OCD

    A large proportion of patients with OCD remain significantly symptomatic despite optimized medical and psychotherapeutics treatments. Neurosurgical strategies, using invasive thermal ablation, have been developed and employed for over half a century, to manage patients with refractory OCD.

    MR-guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) offers the possibility of lesioning deep brain targets, without the need for open surgical approaches. There is no radiation, incision, or burr hole, and lesions are generated in real-time under MR image guidance.

    The proposed study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of MRgFUS for patients with treatment-refractory OCD. Assessments will be made before and after MRgFUS for adverse events related to treatment, for clinical symptom relief, and quality of life. The target in the brain chosen for ablation will be the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) (i.e ‘capsulotomy’).

    If you would like to participate or for more information, please contact Sachie Sharma at

  7. A Research Study Examining MCBT & CBT For Adults with OCD

    About the study

    We want to learn more about the impact of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) versus Cognitive as Behavioral Therapy (CBT) treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    With your help we will gain a better understanding of OCD and potential avenues for treatment.

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

    CBT is a short-term, present-oriented therapy which focuses on the way we think and act.

    There are two components at play when treating OCD: cognitive strategies to change how someone interprets and responds to intrusive thoughts and behavioural strategies to reduce compulsive rituals.

    Mindfullness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

    MBCT combines mindfulness meditation with cognitive approaches. It focuses on becoming aware of all incoming thoughts, feelings, and accepting them instead of just reacting. With OCD treatment, it aims to teach how to observe intrusive thoughts and accept any discomfort they cause without trying to change or escape them.

    Study procedure

    Participants will receive 12 sessions of CBT or MBCT and a $100 gift card. All sessions will be conducted virtually.

    With your participation, we can gain a better understanding of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and how to treat it most effectively.

    For more information contact us via email at or contact one of our clinical research coordinators!

      • Rotem Regev
        Tel: 416-480-6100 ext. 67891
      • Shahana Sittampalam
        Tel: 416-480-6100 ext. 64679

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