Kava for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (K-GAD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Karen M Savage, Con Stough, Gerard J Byrne, Andrew B Scholey, Chad Bousman, Jenifer Murphy, Patricia Macdonald, Chao Suo, Matthew Edward Hughes, Stuart Richard Thomas, Rolf S Teschke, Chengguo Chris Xing, Jerome Sarris

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20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic and pervasive condition that generates high levels of psychological stress, and it is difficult to treat in the long term. Current pharmacotherapeutic options for GAD are in some cases only modestly effective, and may elicit undesirable side effects. Through targeted actions on the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) pathway, the South Pacific medicinal plant kava (Piper methysticum) is a non-addictive, non-hypnotic anxiolytic with the potential to treat GAD. The evidence for the efficacy of kava for treating anxiety has been affirmed through clinical trials and meta-analyses. Recent research has also served to lessen safety concerns regarding the use of kava due to hepatotoxic risk, which is reflected in a recent German court overturning the previous kava ban in that country (which may in turn influence a reinstatement by the European Union). The aim of current research is to assess the efficacy of an `aqueous noble cultivar rootstock extract? of kava in GAD in a larger longer term study. In addition, we plan to investigate the pharmacogenomic influence of GABA transporters on response, effects of kava on gene expression, and for the first time, the neurobiological correlates of treatment response via functional and metabolic imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 13
Number of pages13
JournalTrials
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this

Savage, K. M., Stough, C., Byrne, G. J., Scholey, A. B., Bousman, C., Murphy, J., Macdonald, P., Suo, C., Hughes, M. E., Thomas, S. R., Teschke, R. S., Xing, C. C., & Sarris, J. (2015). Kava for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (K-GAD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 16(1), 1 - 13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-015-0986-5