The core of the Bergen Center for Brain Plasticity will be The Bergen 4-day treatment (B4DT): After only four consecutive days, 90% of the patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) respond, and four years later more than 69% are recovered.
Currently teams in Norway, Iceland, Sweden, US, Finland, Denmark, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Brazil, Turkey and Netherlands are being trained. The B4DT is now also delivered for other anxiety disorders. The Bergen Center for Brain Plasticity will provide an infrastructure for training and dissemination using “benchmarking” across teams as a tool to prevent drift in quality. The infrastructure provided by the Bergen Center for Brain Plasticity will ensure that clinical data paralleled with longitudinal biological samples from all B4DT courses delivered by the different B4DT-sites will be stored/available at Haukeland University Hospital (yearly~ 1000 new patients), for future research projects to conduct large scale research and test new hypotheses.
The Research Project
The B4DT is concentrated and powerful and offers a nearly experimental approach where individual clinical responses represent the gateway to describe underlying mechanisms for brain plasticity. Based on data from the Bergen Center for Brain Plasticity we aim to elucidate markers of brain plasticity at multiple levels, including molecular and cellular alterations, structural adaptations as well as changes in neural connectivity and functional reorganization. This will be achieved in a large-scale research effort integrating psychological, genetic, epigenetic and imaging predictors of brain plasticity.
Dissemination of effective treatment is a major challenge in mental health care (Shafran et al. 2009) and even though a clinic might offer evidence-based treatment, this is not a guarantee that patients who can access it will actually receive high-quality care that yield results that are in line with what can be expected based on scientific papers (Shafran et al. 2009).
We have developed a model for dissemination that ensures that the effectiveness of the B4DT is maintained. All training, assessment, dissemination, data collection and storage will be headed from Bergen.