Participate in Research

People like you make the difference!

By participating in a research project, you play a part in helping physicians and researchers develop better ways to diagnose and treat people with mental illness. As a research participant, you learn about the causes of specific mental health problems and what can be done to manage these conditions. 

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Project Title:
The Emotional Growth Study
Principal Investigator:
Susan B. Perlman, PhD
For Information Contact:
Lisa Bemis (Email: bemislm@upmc.edu; Office: 412-383-5260; Text: 412-463-1253)
What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this study is to better understand how preschool age children learn to control their emotions. The researchers are particularly interested in which children might be at risk for mental illness based on how their brains understand and control emotions, and how their home life might affect their development.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Children ages 4 or 5; No history of psychiatric disorders; Willing and able to have an MRI scan; Likes to play computer games
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
History of psychiatric disorders; History of seizures; History of head trauma with loss of consciousness
What Participation Involves:
This study occurs over a two year period. You will make three visits (2-3 hours each) total when your child is 4, 5 and 6 years old or 5, 6 or 7 years old. Visit times are flexible to suit your schedule. Study participation includes completing questionnaires and interviews, providing hair samples, and monitoring sleep and other activities. At each visit, your child will wear a headband or hat (similar to a swim cap) that uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to monitor brain activity in the front part of the brain. fNIRS is safe and painless. Parents will also wear a fNIRS device during the first visit. An fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) will be done at the last visit when your child is 6 or 7 years old. An fMRI scan is an imaging technique for measuring brain function. fMRI is non-invasive and does not involve radiation.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants are compensated plus reimbursement for travel and a small prize.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
PADI Study
Principal Investigator:
Anna Manelis, PhD
For Information Contact:
Jessica Milewski, Research Associate, Telephone: 412-605-0131; Chloe Reshetar-Jost, Research Associate, 412-605-0141; padi@upmc.edu (preferred)
What We Are Studying:
We are interested in understanding how the brain works in people with and without mood disorders utilizing fMRI and NIRS scanning.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals between the ages of 18 and 45 that have a history of depression or mania.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
People currently in a manic state. Those who do not meet standard criteria for fMRI scanning.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will have a lifetime psychiatric evaluation and complete self-report questionnaires to determine eligibility at the first visit. During the second visit, the participant will undergo an fMRI and NIRS scan, complete additional questionnaires, and perform cognitive tasks. The fMRI, NIRS and other tasks are non-invasive.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants will receive $25 for the first visit and $100 for the second visit. Participants will also be reimbursed $10 for transportation at each visit.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Youth Emotion and Brain Study
Principal Investigator:
Lauren Bylsma, PhD
For Information Contact:
Amanda Adams (Email: yebs@pitt.edu; Telephone: 412-383-8030)
What We Are Studying:
We are interested in studying brain-behavior relationships in youth and how characteristics of children and parents can affect the likelihood of children later developing emotional difficulties.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Parents with a history of depression OR no history of mental health problems, along with their healthy 9-13 year old children.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Youth or parents with a history of mania or psychotic disorder, youth with a neurological or developmental disorder, and youth taking certain psychiatric medicines.
What Participation Involves:
Clinical interview with parent and child, self-report questionnaires, completing computer tasks while we measure brain activity with an EEG, and answering questions on a smart phone for a week (smart phone provided by study).
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Please contact the study coordinator for more details.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Schizophrenia Treatment and Cognitive Remediation using Transcranial Electrical Stimulation
Principal Investigator:
Dean Salisbury, PhD
For Information Contact:
Tim Murphy: murphyt3@upmc.edu; 412-246-6556
What We Are Studying:
Our lab is studying the therapeutic effects of transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) in schizophrenia. tES is a safe and noninvasive technique that delivers very weak electrical current into the brain using electrodes positioned on the scalp. We are using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure the electrical activity of the brain while individuals listen to different sounds and respond to visual stimuli. We are comparing EEG responses before and after treatment with tES to examine how changes in these responses may be related to treatment of symptoms associated with schizophrenia.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder are eligible for this study.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals with a history of head trauma, seizures, electroconvulsive therapy, a learning disorder, childhood treatment for ADHD, recent history of drug or alcohol abuse, or who have undergone drug or alcohol detox in the last 5 years are not eligible for this study.
What Participation Involves:
You will first undergo a hearing screen to determine if you are eligible for this study. Then, you will perform a short interview with regards to any hallucinations you may experience. Following this, you will have the natural electrical activity of your brain measured using EEG while you either perform a simple task or watch a silent video. Halfway through the EEG session you will receive a tES treatment in which a very weak electrical current is applied to a small area on the scalp. Following this tES treatment, you will then perform the same EEG tasks you performed prior to tES. One week after this visit we will follow up with you over the telephone to ask a few questions about any symptom improvements you may have experienced since the treatment.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
If you agree to take part in this study, you will be paid up to $50. If you do not pass the hearing screen, you will be paid $10 for the screening session. If you complete the hearing screen and the EEG and tES session you will be paid $40 for participation. If you complete the follow up questions approximately one to two weeks after your session, you will be paid an additional $10. The overall total you can receive from this study is $50. If you are unable to complete the research study due to complications with tES or EEG, you will be paid the full $50.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Cognitive Inflexibility and Phenotypic Heterogeneity in Eating Disorders
Principal Investigator:
Erika Forbes, PhD
For Information Contact:
Megan Martinho: schamburama2@upmc.edu; or andplab@pitt.edu; Telephone: 412-354-9297; Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic, 8th Floor, Room N8009, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
What We Are Studying:
Researchers at UPMC are conducting a study of behavior and brain function in response to computer tasks in adults with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. We are interested in learning whether differences in behavior and brain responses help to explain differences in eating disorder symptoms across diagnoses.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
You must be between the ages of 18 and 55 years old with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. An evaluation will be provided at no cost to you.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
You must not have a history of head trauma, currently be pregnant, or have been treated for alcohol or drug dependence in the past 3 months.
What Participation Involves:
The study involves a minimum of two visits at baseline, as well as two follow-ups conducted 3 and 6 months after baseline. Baseline assessments will take place at UPMC. Follow-up assessments will take place at UPMC or by phone and mail, whichever you prefer.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
You may receive up to $375 for your participation.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Anhedonia Study
Principal Investigator:
Erika Forbes, PhD
For Information Contact:
Morgan Lindenmuth, lindenmuthm@upmc.edu; or Melissa Nance, nancem@upmc.edu; or andplab@pitt.edu; Telephone: 412-354-9297
What We Are Studying:
We are assessing various levels of anhedonia (the loss of interest or pleasure in daily life and activities) and how it affects brain function over the course of adolescence.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Adolescents aged 13-19 with a full biological parent or sibling with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia /schizophrenia-related disorders). To see if you are eligible, follow this link: https://pitt.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_dcgHy3FloBmfNNb
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Adolescents with a history of head trauma.
What Participation Involves:
The study involves online questionnaires and 3 in-person visits conducted over 3 years. Parents will complete interviews and questionnaires. Adolescents will complete interviews, questionnaires, computer tasks, and an fMRI scan.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation is provided. Please contact the study coordinator for more details.
Brochure Location: