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. 

Find a study to participate in: Enter a keyword below (for example, "depression")

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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:
Project Title:
Inflammation and the Development of Depression
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 studying inflammatory cytokines (small proteins in cells), and how they relate to the development of depression in adolescents.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Adolescents aged 13-19 who have a biological parent or sibling with a history of depression, but no history of depression themselves.
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 who have a history of head injuries or mental illness.
What Participation Involves:
The adolescent and their immediate family member with a history of depression will both complete interviews and questionnaires. The adolescent will also complete computer tasks, an fMRI scan, and a blood draw.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation is provided. Please contact study coordinator for more details.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
ASSET Study (Adolescents' Social Stresses, Emotions, and Thoughts)
Principal Investigator:
Leslie Horton, PhD
For Information Contact:
Miranda Bridgwater (412) 864-2772, assetstudy@upmc.edu), Or text the word "teenager" to (412)-999-2748.
What We Are Studying:
We are studying the social stresses, emotions, and thoughts of teens, both those with and without a parent with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Teenagers age 14-19 and their parent; parent has a schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder diagnosis (OR no family history of mental illness)
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Teenagers with a history of head trauma including loss of consciousness. Teenagers who themselves have a current diagnosis of schizophrenia / psychotic disorder. Teenagers unwilling to abstain from nicotine and caffeine on the day of testing.
What Participation Involves:
We will examine social stresses, emotions, and thoughts 3 times over 1 year. Activities will include interviews, computer tasks, those in the laboratory (for example, looking at heart rate responses to stressful tasks), and in daily life (loaning participants a cell phone with an application that randomly beeps and asks questions about current experiences).
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Parent participants will be compensated $50 (first study visit). Teenagers will also be compensated up to $265 throughout the full year of participation. Please contact study coordinator for additional details.
Brochure Location:
http://www.assetpitt.com/