2022 Call for Proposals – Winner Announcement

Posted on: February 13th, 2023

In 2022 we launched our second call for proposals seeking hard-to-fund projects that have great potential to make a major impact for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

We received many great submissions, and our independent scientific advisory board judged the projects last year. We are now excited to announce our winner:

“Double-blind Randomised Placebo-controlled study of Tolcapone for OCD”

The University of Chicago will test the drug Tolcapone to treat OCD symptoms. Tolcapone, a catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT) inhibitor, is used in some countries (including the UK and USA) as an add-on agent for the management of Parkinson’s Disease. They have tested this drug out in a pilot study over a two-week design. They found significant improvement in OCD symptoms vs the two-week placebo group. They will now conduct a double-blind, placebo-controlled study using Tolcapone to improve OCD symptoms. 

The aim of this study is to examine the efficacy and safety of 8-week treatment with tolcapone vs. placebo in adults with moderate to severe OCD, as indicated by a score of at least 21 on the Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), a scale of illness severity, at the baseline visit. They hypothesize that tolcapone will significantly improve symptoms of OCD compared to placebo. They will examine the cognitive effects of Tolcapone by conducting objective neuropsychological tasks pre- and post-pharmacological trial. They hypothesize that this drug will improve cognitive flexibility.

60 individuals with OCD (aged 18-65) will be recruited and following baseline measures, subjects will receive tolcapone (initially 100mg twice per day) or inactive placebo. Dose will be increased, if tolerated, from 100mg twice daily to 200mg twice daily at week 2. Participants will be seen every 2 weeks during the 8-week period. At week 8, subjects will start a 1-week taper off the medication. This will take 24 months in total.

Congratulations! We will keep our supporters updated on the progress of this study. This is now our third fully funded OCD study.

If you have any questions, please email info@orchardocd.org

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