Research Studies

This page provides people living with mental illness, their families, and mental health researchers with an opportunity to connect in mental health research studies.

NAMI-NYC does not endorse any study on this page.  Information is provided purely as a public service. Every effort is made to include an expiration date so that all studies listed are currently active.

A group wishing to post on this page must submit their current IRB approval for the study, in addition to a written synopsis of your study answering the following:

  • A title – preferably easy for a lay person to understand
  • A brief description of why you’re performing the study and what people will be doing.
  • A brief description of who you are looking for 
  • A person to contact, and a website for more general information.
  • When does the post expire? E.g. 6 months, one year, other.
  • Is the study therapeutic (offering treatment) or non-therapeutic?
  • Is the study funded?  If yes, provide source of all funding; e.g., non-profit organization, governmental agency, or for-profit corporation including any ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Who will be conducting the study?  E.g. non-profit, government, hospital, or for-profit corporation, including any companies that run clinical trials.
  • Will subjects be paid?  Include amount and payment schedule.

Current Studies

September 2021: Schizophrenia Research Study (SSBC)

The Schizophrenia Spectrum Biomarkers Consortium (SSBC) aims to use cutting-edge scientific discoveries, to advance schizophrenia research and treatment. Please view the following 3-minute video for a brief description of the schizophrenia research study: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4GEHQeCzzU&feature=emb_imp_woyt

The Schizophrenia Spectrum Biomarkers Consortium (SSBC) is an international collaboration with the collective goal of identifying biomarkers in schizophrenia and related disorders. The SSBC was established in 2018.

The current SSBC research study is designed to identify biological markers for schizophrenia and related mental illnesses. Schizophrenia is a brain-based mental illness that may include experiences that seem out of touch with reality, disorganized speech or behavior, and decreased participation in daily activities. Difficulty with concentration and memory may also occur. Identifying biological markers – such as proteins, hormones, and brain activity patterns – can help us understand more about how schizophrenia develops and how it affects different people. This research study could ultimately help us treat schizophrenia more effectively.

We are currently enrolling participants who:

  • Have been diagnosed with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or schizophreniform disorder), and are aged 18-40 years
  • Are at clinical high risk for schizophrenia, and are aged 18-30 years
  • Are healthy (without a diagnosis or clinical high risk), and are aged 18-40 years

PARTICIPATION involves:

  • Questionnaires about life experiences and medical history
  • Brain Imaging (MRI)
  • Collection of blood and urine samples
  • Collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) via lumbar puncture (LP)

COMPENSATION
Subjects will be paid at three time intervals, baseline, 6-months and 1-year.
Up to: $595 for baseline visits, $640 at 6-months and $740 at 12 month follow-up visits.

CONTACT
If interested in participating in NYC:
PHONE: 212-659-1674 (Research Coordinator)
E-MAIL: ssbc@mssm.edu

WEBSITES TO STUDY RESOURCES FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES:
https://ssbcbio.org/individuals-and-families/resources.html
https://ssbcbio.org/individuals-and-families/faq.html

Post expires: March 2022

August 2021: Apoyar El Baile Multicultural (Supporting the Multicultural Dance): A Qualitative Study of Mental Health Providers Treating Latina Adolescents with Suicidal Ideation and Behaviors

Are you a social worker in a NYC mental health community agency? Do you work with Latinx adolescents? You may be eligible to participate in a study investigating the role of risk and protective factors to reduce suicide amongst Latinx adolescents.

You may qualify if:

  • You are a licensed social worker (LMSW or LCSW) with at least 3 years of post-graduate practice experience
  • You work in a community mental health agency or primary care setting
  • At least half of your caseload consists of Latinx teens and families
  • You currently work with at least one Latina adolescent exhibiting suicidal behavior (suicidal ideation, suicide plan, and/or suicide attempt)
  • You have experience working with teens of any background engaged in suicidal behaviors

Participation involves:

  • Completing a single, one-hour Zoom/Skype interview at a time of your convenience
  • This study will have no direct benefit to you. Findings from this study may improve care of Latina adolescents and their families.
  • This study has minimal risk for you.

Participants will receive a $25 Amazon gift card upon completion of interview

To sign up: To learn more and to schedule an interview, please contact Samantha Schindelheim at sschind7@upenn.edu or call (914) 275-8335.

What is the purpose of this study?
Latina adolescents attempt suicide at a much higher rate than other racial and ethnic groups. Research suggests this may be due to sociocultural factors specific to Latina adolescents living in the US. The purpose of this study is to investigate how clinicians understand, evaluate, and address these factors in their practice. Findings may uncover or lead to the development of strategies to improve culturally competent treatment of suicidal behavior in Latinx adolescents. Findings will also be used to expand a theoretical framework for understanding suicide in Latinx populations to include the role of the therapeutic relationship.

This post expires July 2022.

July 2021: Studies for investigational medication for people living with depression, or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

The RELIANCE Clinical Research Program is currently testing REL-1017 as an investigational medication for people living with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

The RELIANCE Clinical Research Program includes studies comparing REL-1017 to placebo over a treatment period of 28 days, either as an adjunctive (or add-on) treatment with a standard antidepressant or as a monotherapy (if not currently taking an antidepressant medication). Participants of the placebo-controlled studies may choose to continue into a long-term safety study. All participants in this long-term safety study will receive REL-1017, and it will continue for at least one year. Participants may also join the long-term study directly, without first participating in a placebo-controlled study.

Participants may be eligible for this study if they are:

  • 18 – 65 years old (inclusive)
  • Diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and currently experiencing a major depressive episode
  • Not currently diagnosed with other psychiatric conditions, or severe alcohol or substance use disorder

For more information:

This post expires June 2022.

July 2021: Optimizing Exercise for the Treatment of Anxiety

The purpose of this study is to learn about the effects of different exercise regimens on anxiety and exercise engagement and adherence. After medical and psychiatric evaluations are completed, eligible participants will be instructed on completion of a 2-month exercise intervention. Participants will be randomly assigned (like the flip of a coin) to 1 of 2 interventions: low intensity exercise or a titration to high intensity exercise program, in which they will start at low intensity exercise and work their way up to high intensity exercise. There will also be 2 follow-up assessments 1-month and 3-months after the intervention is over. Eligible participants will receive compensation for their time and effort for completing assessment visits.

Basic eligibility criteria:
Adults ages 18 – 65 who have generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and/or panic disorder; Currently sedentary

If you are interested in seeing whether you are eligible for this study, please fill out the following survey: https://openredcap.nyumc.org/apps/redcap/surveys/?s=JN9WD4FTYN

Contact information for the study:
Email (preferred): anxietystudy@nyulangone.org
Telephone: 1-888-44-WORRY

This post expires July 2022

July 2021: Brain Imaging Study

The primary objective of this study is to understand how brain anatomy relates to function and health. This study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and is conducted at New York University School of Medicine, Departments of Radiology and Psychiatry.

We are recruiting 18-30 year old participants who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder in the last five years. An initial telephone screening and clinical interview will establish eligibility for the study.

The study involves:

  • Clinical assessment
  • MRI scanning
  • Blood draw
  • Cognitive Assessment

This is a non-therapeutic study that does not involve treatment and does not interfere with any ongoing treatments. If eligibility criteria are met, a compensation of $160 will be provided at the completion of the study.

For more information please contact: mariana.lazar@nyumc.org or 212 263-3348.

UPDATED FROM MAY 2019: This post expires in November 2021.

June 2021: Treatments for Anxiety: Mindfulness vs. Escitalopram (TAME)

The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with Escitalopram (Lexapro) for treating anxiety disorders, specifically social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. Participants are randomized into two 8-week virtual treatments: (1) MBSR and (2) escitalopram.

Virtual MBSR intervention will include a weekly 2.5 hour class for 8 weeks. The intervention will also include a 1-day virtual (7 hours) retreat on a weekend at the end of the program. Participants will also be asked to engage in 45 minutes of practice at home on a daily basis, as well as informal practice assignments that instruct participants to bring mindfulness to current daily activities.

Participants will receive free treatment no matter which arm they are assigned to. They will need to complete a 3-hour screening visit, a 1-hour baseline visit, and 5-6 study assessment visits. There will also be follow-up visits at 3 months and 6 months.

Participants will receive $20 per study visit, not including screening. If participants complete the study, they will receive $160.

For more information, please call 1-888-44-WORRY or email anxietystudy@nyumc.org. This study is run by NYU Langone Health.

This post expires in June 2022.

June 2021: Brain Imaging Study of Panic Disorder (PD)

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are looking for adults with Panic Disorder to participate in a brain imaging study. Study investigators hope to learn how the brain is affected by stress and anxiety using new brain imaging technology.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you:

  • Are 18-55 years old
  • Have Panic Disorder (PD)

Participation in this research study includes a study screen and brain scan using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can be done over 1-3 visits. Each study visit is expected to last approximately 2 – 5 hours in length. Subjects will be compensated for their participation.

If you are interested in participating, please take the online pre-screen: https://redcap.mountsinai.org/redcap/surveys/?s=VionGV8Bjh

Contact: Vicki Soogrim at the Depression and Anxiety Center at vicki.soogrim@mssm.edu or 212-585-4621, or visit icahn.mssm.edu/research/depression-anxiety-center for more information.

Post expires: 12/31/2022

April 2021: Have you been diagnosed with Schizophrenia?

If so, you may be eligible to participate in a study at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai involving brain imaging and cognitive assessments.

You must be between 18 and 45 years old and medically healthy.

You will be reimbursed for your time, up to $750.

For more information, please call Elen-Sarrah at (212) 585-4627, Ext. 54627.

Post expires: 1/26/2022

April 2021: Public Safety Personnel Wellness Survey

This study is an anonymous online survey for public safety personnel. The goal of this study is to better understand the effects of work-related stress and traumatic events on the well-being of public safety professionals. The survey will also explore the coping mechanisms and stress management techniques used by public safety personnel to inform the creation of more effective prevention programs and intervention strategies.

The survey is being conducted by researchers at the U.S. Marshals Service; Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department; and Nova Southeastern University.

Participants may be eligible for this study if they are:

  • 18 years and older
  • Active federal, state, local, or tribal law enforcement, corrections, fire and rescue, emergency medical services, or public safety communications personnel
  • Military service members or veterans who currently serve in a public safety role

Total participation time is 30-40 minutes. Participation must be coordinated through your work agency/organization. Please see attached National Survey Invitation for details.

The survey will take place online. Participants will receive a unique link to complete the survey.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the United States Marshals Service, Behavioral Analysis Unit at USMS.BAU@usdoj.gov or the Fairfax County Police Department at FCPDNationalSurvey@fairfaxcounty.gov.

These documents have additional information about the study.

National Survey Invitation and National Wellness Survey Instrument Overview.

March 2021: PTSD and Trauma Research Study Seeks Volunteers

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine are seeking study participants to participate in a PET/MR imaging study to look at inflammation as it relates to stress and PTSD. We are looking for male and female participants who:

  • Are 30-65 years old
  • Have experienced a life-threatening or traumatic event

Study participation will include:

  • 1-2 study visits (3-5 hours per visit)
  • Compensation provided

If you are interested in participating, please take the online pre-screen.

Post expires March 2022

March 2021: Tobacco Harm Research Project

We are recruiting individuals into our observational study targeting tobacco using individuals with behavioral health disorders.

The Tobacco Harm Research Project participant must be:

  • An adult (21 years or older) AND
  • Currently or formerly a client of a public mental health or substance use service AND
  • Currently a smoker AND
  • Interested in changing their tobacco use AND
  • NOT currently enrolled in another tobacco intervention program

For more information and to sign up, go to the Tobacco Harm Research Project website.

This post active through the Fall of 2022.

March 2021: OCD Sibling Study

Interested in participating in an OCD study with your sibling?

We are looking for individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and their siblings for our study investigating family risk at NYU Langone Medical Center!

You must:

  • Be 18-60 years old
  • Be medically healthy
  • Have OCD OR have a sibling with OCD

What would you have to do?

  • Some questionnaires about your health and emotions
  • Some computer tasks while having your brain activity measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

Total participation time is 4 to 10 hours over 1 to 3 visits and pays at a rate of $25 per hour.

If you want to be contacted to learn more about the study, please fill out the study interest form.

For more information, call the Psychiatric NeuroCognition Laboratory at 212-404-3919, email at pnclab@nyumc.org or visit at psychneurocoglab.com. Please do not disclose any personal or sensitive information via email.

Post expires March 2023

October 2020: Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms of the Accelerated Aging Phenotype in PTSD

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between aging processes and PTSD, which may help identify novel therapeutic targets to promote healthier aging trajectories for PTSD patients. Chronic PTSD increases mortality risk from medical diseases, promotes aging-associated syndromes such as frailty, and is linked to faster cognitive decline in older adults. One strong possibility is that PTSD leads to these adverse health outcomes by accelerating biological aging in the brain and body.

Participants will be asked to attend a total of 3 visits consisting of: an evaluation, an MRI, and a day of neuropsychological testing.

To participate, individuals must be 50 years or older. This study is enrolling healthy control volunteers.

To compensate for the time required for the eligibility evaluation, we offer $50 cash upon completion. Additionally, you will be paid $300 if you complete all procedures in this study, including the two additional study visits. Payment will take place in the form of a check.

For more information, contact Nicolas Cimino at 646-774-8655 or nicolas.cimino@nyspi.columbia.edu.

Read more here: https://recruit.cumc.columbia.edu/clinical_trial/1649

Post expires October 2022.

October 2020: Treating Hearing Loss to Improve Mood and Cognition in Older Adults

The purpose of this study is to determine whether treating hearing loss is helpful for depression over and above the known effects of antidepressants. Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is the third most common health condition affecting older adults after heart disease and arthritis and is the fifth leading cause of years lived with disability worldwide. Many hearing-impaired older adults avoid or withdraw from social contexts in which background noise will make it difficult to communicate, resulting in social isolation and reduced communication with family and friends. Social isolation and loneliness have been linked to numerous adverse physical and mental health outcomes, including dementia, depression, and mortality, and they may also lead to declining physical activity and the development of the syndrome of frailty.

In this research study, participants may be fitted with free hearing aids. They will also receive treatment for depression with an FDA approved medication called escitalopram (Lexapro) or duloxetine (Cymbalta). Escitalopram is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) medication, and duloxetine is a Selective Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SSNRI) that both appear to help with symptoms of depression. Participants will attend study visits to monitor progress and ensure safety over the course of participation. Participants may also be offered brain scans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

To participate, individuals must be 60 years or older.

We offer $50 for the completion of each MRI scan. We also offer reasonable compensation for travel costs related to study participation. Participants may also receive free hearing aids listed at a price of $6000.

A person to contact, and a website for more general information.

Carlen Zhu at 646-774-8005 or Carlen.zhu@nyspi.columbia.edu

https://recruit.cumc.columbia.edu/clinical_trial/1323

This post expires in October 2021.

October 2020: L-DOPA Vs. Placebo for Depression and Psychomotor Slowing in Older Adults

Individuals with Late Life Depression (LLD) often have problems with memory, attention, and problem solving, all of which contribute to antidepressant non-response. Available evidence suggests that declining functionality in the brain’s dopamine system contributes to age-related cognitive and motor slowing. The purpose of this research study is to test whether a medication called carbidopa/levodopa (Sinemet) is helpful for the treatment of depression in older adults. Carbidopa/levodopa is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. We are using carbidopa/levodopa in this study to see whether it is capable of improving depressive symptoms as well as mental and physical slowing that occur as people age.

Participants will be prescribed carbidopa/levodopa (Sinemet) by the study psychiatrist, free of charge. Progress will be monitored through weekly visits with the study staff for 8 weeks. Participants may also be offered brain scans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET).

To participate, individuals must be 60 years or older.

Subjects are compensated $15 for each weekly study visit ($135 total if they attend all visits). This money will be paid by cash at the conclusion of each of these visits.

To compensate for the time required for the brain scans, we offer $50 for each MRI scan and $150 for each PET scan ($400 total if all visits are attended). This money will be paid in 1 lump sum payment at the end of the study.

A person to contact, and a website for more general information.

Marika Chrisanthopoulos at 646-774-8697 (marika.chrisanthopoulos@nyspi.columbia.edu)

https://recruit.cumc.columbia.edu/clinical_trial/1586

Post expires in October 2021.

October 2020: Optimizing Outcomes of Treatment-Resistant Depression in Older Adults

Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is a major health problem for the growing population of older adults. Unfortunately, there is a lack of evidence-based treatments that establish the benefits vs. risk of medication in this patient population. The purpose of this research study is to find out which antidepressants work best in individuals over the age of 60 who did not respond or were intolerant to at least two antidepressant medications. The study offers treatment with FDA approved medications: aripiprazole, bupropion, lithium, and nortriptyline.

Participants will be prescribed medication by the study psychiatrist. Progress will be monitored through biweekly phone calls or visits with the study staff. Participants will be asked to complete neuropsychological assessments, answer questions about their mood, and report medication tolerance.

To participate, individuals must be 60 years or older.

Subjects are paid $50 for completing initial evaluation. If found eligible and enrolled into the study, subjects receive $75 at the baseline visit, $75 at the end of 10-weeks of treatment, and $25 at each of 3 follow up visits after completing the initial 10 weeks of acute treatment.

A person to contact, and a website for more general information.
Johana Alvarez at 646-774-8664 (johana.alvarez@nyspi.columbia.edu) or Esteban Ceballos for service in Spanish at 646-774-8670 (esteban.ceballos@nyspi.columbia.edu)

https://recruit.cumc.columbia.edu/clinical_trial/953

Study will continue to recruit October 2022.

October 2020: Tianeptine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

The purpose of this 8-week study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a medication called tianeptine for treating depression in people whose symptoms have not responded to two prior treatments.

To participate, individuals must be between the ages of 21-50 and must have tried at least two antidepressant medications without complete success. Individuals can receive up to $1000 over the course of participation.

For more information, contact Sara Fernandez at 646-774-8698 or sara.fernandez@nyspi.columbia.edu.

Go here to apply: https://recruit.cumc.columbia.edu/clinical_trial/2008

This post expires in October 2023.

June 2020: Estradiol as a Cognitive Enhancer for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Women

The purpose of this study is to determine if taking a pill of estradiol (a form of estrogen) together with prolonged exposure (PE) therapy can improve this treatment outcome in women with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy is a validated, evidence-based talk therapy that focuses on helping individuals with PTSD process memories of the trauma. Based on previous findings that the hormone estrogen facilitates people learning not to fear things they had feared before, we want to supplement prolonged exposure therapy with an estradiol pill given before each therapy session. Participants will be randomly assigned to either take estrogen or a placebo (which looks just like the estrogen pill but contains no medicine). Participants will not know which pill they are taking. As part of this study, participants will be asked to go through two separate fMRI scans, one before prolonged exposure therapy treatment and one after. This machine is routinely used by scientists to study the brain and does not use any radiation (x-rays).

The study involves 12 visits to our lab, which is located in midtown east Manhattan, over the course of a 6-9-week period. These visits can be broken down into 2 experimental days, 6 prolonged exposure therapy sessions, and 2 more experimental days. Participation in this study requires 12 visits over six weeks. Six of these visits will be therapy sessions. The other 6 days include assessment visits and going through an emotional learning and memory task before and after therapy. Participants will undergo a fear conditioning procedure that involves receiving an annoying but not painful, half-second electric current applied to the fingers. This procedure will be conducted during two consecutive days. The second day will be conducted in an fMRI scanner. Participants will be paid for their time. Blood samples will be gathered at different time points of the study. There will also be follow-up visits at 3 months and 6 months.

Eligibility criteria: Females between the ages of 18-45 who are taking an oral contraceptive (i.e., birth control)

Is the study therapeutic? Yes – participants will receive free Prolonged Exposure therapy no matter which study arm they are assigned to (i.e., placebo vs estradiol pill).

Is the study funded? Yes, this study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Who will be conducting the study? The study is being conducted at two different sites: Dr. Mohammed Milad is conducting the study within the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health, and Dr. Edna Foa is conducting the study within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Will subjects be paid? Yes – The total compensation for all completed parts will be 480 dollars. Participants will receive 10 dollars for each study visit from visits 1-11 to help defray costs of travel and time. Participants will then receive 270 dollars upon completion of visit 12.

Participants will receive 50 dollars at each remaining follow-up visit. Participants who drop out of the study will be paid for the visits they attended.

Contact information: For more information regarding the study, you can call 1-888-44-WORRY or email Behavioralneuroscience@nyulangone.org. You can also complete the online pre-screening by following this link: https://is.gd/NYU_PTSD_STUDY and a research coordinator will reach out to you with further information about the study.

Post Expiration: The study will be recruiting until June 2023

February 2020: Survey on Physical Health Awareness

This study is an anonymous online survey for adults with a mental health condition and their family members/caregivers. The goal of the survey is to understand how much people know about the physical health risks related to mental health conditions and treatments. The survey will ask questions about the participant’s knowledge of physical health and about the care they have received from health care providers. This study will help health care providers improve the ways they educate and support people with mental health conditions.

The study is being conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and McLean Hospital. The survey takes 15-20 minutes to complete.

Participants may be eligible for this study if they are:

  • Aged 18 or older
  • Have a mental health condition, or are the family member/ caregiver of a person with a mental health condition

The survey is available online. To access the survey please use the following link: https://umasslowell.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_80MfUYLoMqduzvD

HOW DO I LEARN MORE?
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the researchers at (978) 934-4471 or Margaret_Knight@uml.edu.

January 2020: Volunteers Needed for Study of Anxiety, Panic and PTSD

Description: Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are looking for adults with Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and/or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder to participate in a brain imaging study. Study investigators hope to learn how the brain is affected by stress and anxiety using new brain imaging technology.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you:

  • Are 18-55 years old
  • Have Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Participation in this research study includes a study screen and brain scan using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can be done over 1-3 visits. Each study visit is expected to last approximately 2 – 5 hours in length. Subjects will be compensated for their participation.

Contact: If you are interested in participating, please take our online pre-screen at https://redcap.mountsinai.org/redcap/surveys/?s=VionGV8Bjh.

This study will expire in January 2024.