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.

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 – see studies below for examples
  • A brief description of why you’re performing the study, and what people will be doing.
  • 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.
  • A person to contact, and a website for more general information.
  • When does the post expire? E.g. 6 months, one year, other.

Current Studies

January 2019: 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 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.

To participate and for more information: Contact Chloe Salzman at 646-774-8655

January 2019: 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 $6,000.
  • To participate and for more information: Contact Alexandra Stein at 646-774-8672

January 2019: Developing New Clinical Management Strategies for Antidepressant Treatments

In this research study, participants may receive treatment for depression with an FDA approved medication called escitalopram (Lexapro) or placebo. Escitalopram is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) medication that appears to help with symptoms of depression by increasing the availability of specific chemicals in the brain. A placebo is a sugar pill. This study is looking at treatment response in adults ages 18-75. Participants will attend study visits and receive phone calls from staff to monitor progress and ensure safety over the course of participation.

  • Subjects may receive up to $300 in compensation over the course of participation.
  • To participate and for more information: Contact Stuart Fine at 646-774-8670

January 2019: 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.
  • Contact Emily Valente at 646-774-6704 for more information or to sign up.

January 2019: 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.
  • For more information: Stephanie Gomez at 646-774-8698 or Sandra Sanchez for service in Spanish at 646-774-8692
  • Read more here:
  • This study will continue to recruit for the next 3 years.

November 2018: Analyzing voice samples for health characteristics

Depression affects up to 20% of the population in a given year. We’re asking patients to provide a short speech sample and complete a survey (e.g. a modified PHQ-9 score) so we can determine whether an individual is depressed from acoustic and linguistic features. By being a part of the study as a patient or a control, you will help us build better algorithms to detect depression symptoms from voice samples.

Patients can participate on laptops, tablets, or mobile devices: You can also try a demo:

By analyzing short voice samples for unique health characteristics, our technology discovers specific speech variations that indicate different health abnormalities earlier than previously possible. These new, proprietary tools give patients and providers greater visibility into their overall well-being, enabling early action to prevent symptoms from worsening.

At NeuroLex we are empowering patients with tools to measure their overall health through collecting and analyzing speech samples. By fingerprinting health abnormalities early, we equip patients and physicians with insight to prevent symptoms from worsening. In this way, we strive to be the world’s leading platform company to advance linguistics as a tool to characterize psychiatric and neurological health conditions.

Is the study therapeutic (offering treatment)? Non-therapeutic

Is the study funded? This research study is funded internally by NeuroLex Laboratories, a for-profit company. There are no disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry. We are actively pursuing government grants like SBIRs to further our work.

Who will be conducting the study? NeuroLex is conducting the study in close collaboration with several academic partners.

Go to NeuroLex to read more about the company and the technology.

October 2018: Exploring early interventions for people at risk of psychosis

This study is looking at whether an investigational medication called BI 409306 is safe and effective in reducing the early symptoms of psychosis. The goal of this study is to increase treatment options available for people experiencing the early symptoms of psychosis.

Participants may be eligible for this study if they are:

  • 16-30 years old
  • Experiencing early symptoms of psychosis
  • Have not yet experienced a first episode of psychosis

If you have questions or would like more information, please refer to the trial website (

September 2018: Tobacco Use Survey

This study is an anonymous online survey that looks at tobacco use by people who experience mental health conditions. The goal of this study is to give researchers more information about how many people in this population use tobacco, how many would like to quit using tobacco, and some of the important experiences and feelings involved. Collecting this information is very important to support future research in tobacco cessation.

Participants may be eligible for this study if they:

  • Are 18 years or older
  • Have been diagnosed with a mental health condition

Please select this link to access the survey:

If you have questions about this study, you may contact the research team directly. Dr. Joshua Mann can be reached at

September 2018: 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 treatments: (1) MBSR and (2) escitalopram.

MBSR intervention will include a weekly 2.5 hour class for 8 weeks. The intervention will also include a 1-day (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 come to our offices in Midtown East Manhattan for 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. We can also reimburse up to $10 in transportation costs for each visit.

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

August 2018: Developing a smartphone app to help manage mood and stress

We are a behavioral health startup based in New York City.  We are currently developing a self-directed cognitive behavioral therapy app for iOS and Android devices to help individuals better manage their stress, anxiety, and mood.  The app consists of a six-week interactive curriculum written by clinical psychologists.  Through educational material and homework assignments, the app teaches users to differentiate between their thoughts and feelings, and to develop healthy self-care behaviors.

We are currently conducting a consumer-focused product research and are looking for participants to take part in a focus group which would give participants the opportunity to play around with the app and provide feedback.

Participation in our research consists of an in-person interview at a WeWork office in New York City during the month of September.  The interview will take no longer than 60 minutes and participants will be compensated.

To participate individuals must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have a smartphone
  • Have, or have had private health insurance
  • And be interested in managing their mood, reducing stress, or increasing their happiness

To see if you qualify, please take this survey:

For questions, email

August 2018: After Early Intervention: Young People's Trajectories Following Discharge from Specialized Early Psychosis Services

To date, very little is known about client and family experiences following discharge from specialized first episode psychosis/early intervention programs (like OnTrack) or how to best support them. This study aims to better understand what happens after discharge from OnTrack, including in the areas of school or work involvement and access to/use of other mental health services.

Who Is Eligible: Any family member of a former OnTrack client who has been discharged at least one year prior to a scheduled interview is eligible. Former clients will be recruited for the project through the OnTrack sites at which they initially received services.

Study Activity & Time Involved: If interested, you would be asked to participate in an approximately 1.5 hour long oral interview by phone or in person. This is not a treatment study.

Compensation: You will be compensated $75 for your time.

Who to Contact: To ask any questions or get involved, please contact Dr. Jones directly at 773-639-8360 or by email at

August 2018: Bipolar I with Mania Symptoms

In this study, local doctors are evaluating an investigational drug that is being developed for the treatment of manic episodes. They want to compare the investigational drug to placebo, which looks like the investigational drug, but contains no active medication

The investigational drug is currently approved in Canada and the United States for the treatment of schizophrenia. It is also approved in the United States as an added treatment to antidepressants for major depressive disorder. It has not been approved anywhere to treat manic episodes related to bipolar disorder. The results of this study will help provide more information about the investigational drug and whether it could one day be used as a treatment for manic episodes.

Who is eligible to participate in this study? To pre-qualify for this study, you must:

  • Be 18 to 65 years of age
  • Have been diagnosed with bipolar I disorder
  • Be having symptoms of a manic episode

All study-related visits, tests, and drugs will be provided at no cost. In addition, reimbursement for study-related travel may be provided.

To see if you are eligible for this study, please click here:

June 2018: Improving Cognition via Exercise in Schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia display a broad range of cognitive impairments that have been identified as major determinants of poor functioning and disability. The goal of the proposed study is to examine the impact of exercise training on cognition, daily functioning, and biomarkers of cognitive change in people with schizophrenia.

Description – Following a baseline research assessment, participants will be randomized to Aerobic Exercise (AE) training or Stretching & Toning (ST) exercise training.

Participants in both groups will take part in a 12-week, 3 times per week, 1-hour training program, in addition to their regular psychiatric and/or medical care.  Participants may continue to be treated by their current psychiatrist and/or other mental health clinicians during the study.  All training will be led by a trainer in a small group setting.  Research assessments will be administered at baseline, and after 6- and 12-weeks of training.  These include diagnostic, clinical and cognitive assessments (interviews, questionnaires, cognitive tasks); fitness assessments and physical activity monitoring; and providing urine and blood samples.

Additional information is available at:

Is the study therapeutic? – Yes.

Is the study funded? – Yes, the study is funded by a federal grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD (NIMH, Grant # R01 MH 110623)

Would subject be paid? – Eligible participants may receive up to $260 for the completion of the study, in addition to reimbursement of travel expenses.

Contact Information – Interested participants should contact Dr. Luz Ospina, the study director, at or call 212-659-8749.

May 2018: Seeking patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) between the ages of 18 and 65 to participate in a new depression research study

A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Brexpiprazole plus Ketamine in Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD)

Montefiore Medical Center is seeking patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) between the ages of 18 and 65 to participate in a new depression research study.

Dr. Jonathan Alpert is conducting this research to assess if the combination of brexpiprazole and intranasal ketamine can safely and effectively treat depression symptoms when added to stable, ongoing antidepressant treatment.  Ketamine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used with other drugs for anesthesia and as a pain reliever during procedures.  However, ketamine is not approved by the FDA to treat depression.  Brexpiprazole (Rexulti) is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an add-on treatment to an antidepressant medication to treat adults with major depressive disorder (MDD).  Participants will receive either the active study medication (1/2 chance of receiving brexiprazole) plus 40 mg of ketamine administered intranasally ,  or placebo (1/2 chance of receiving placebo) plus 40 mg of ketamine administered intranasally.  Participants will be monitored by an experienced study physician.  The study requires 12 visits to our research clinic over a period of 5 to 8 weeks, depending on the length of the screening portion.

Participants will receive compensation for their time.  You will be paid $450 if you complete the study.  If you do not complete the study, you will be paid for each visit you complete.

Please contact Jennifer Alexander if you or someone you know is interested in learning more about this study.

Jennifer Alexander

February 2018: Well-being among adult siblings of individuals with a mental/ developmental disability

The aim of this study is to measure well-being among non-disabled adult siblings of individuals with a mental disability. Previous research shows that some siblings have higher levels of well-being than others, based on different factors that are related to it, such as gender. I am interested to see if other factors are also related to well-being. As part of my Master’s in Clinical Psychology in England, I am conducting a study (thesis) and will be glad if you answer my online questionnaire. Participation takes approximately 5 minutes and is anonymous.

I am interested in the well-being of adult siblings of individuals with any mental or developmental disability. Further information can be found at the link below.

So ***if you are an adult sibling (18 years or older) and you are NOT diagnosed with ANY mental or developmental disability*** please take part in the survey by clicking here:

You can withdraw from the study at any stage by closing the browser. In case you have completed the study and still wish to withdraw, you will be asked to type a memorable code which will enable me to exclude you from the study. In such a case, please contact me via email noting your withdrawal.


Participation will take approximately 5 minutes.

December 2017: Does your child struggle to stay organized?

Does your child struggle to stay organized?

Many children with conditions like Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) struggle to stay organized, manage their time, and plan activities. Even when ADHD is being well treated, organizational problems can cause difficulties in school and create headaches at home.

Children in grades 3-5 (who have one main teacher) are being recruited for a therapeutic study on brain function at the NYU Child Study Center funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Children must show difficulty with organization, time management or planning.

The study will include

  • a brief no-cost assessment
  • two brain MRI scans at NYU
  • a no-cost weekly individualized treatment for 12 weeks

Participants will be compensated $75 for the initial evaluation and $75 for each of the two MRI scan sessions.

For more information, please contact us at (646) 754-5147 or, or visit our website:

September 2017: First Episode Psychosis Research Study

The Schizophrenia Research Program at NYU Langone Health, is currently seeking individuals (ages 16-30) with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizotypal, or schizophreniform disorder who have not taken antipsychotic medication for at least 4 weeks to participate in our research study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

In our study, we are looking for an alternative treatment for individuals with early psychosis. We are trying to see if a single dose of an anticonvulsant medication may be able to quiet down a specific part of the brain.

The study involves:

  • Two study visits
  • Two brain imaging scans
  • One single dose of Keppra (an FDA approved anticonvulsant medication) or placebo.

If eligibility criteria are met, participants will receive $200 for the completion of the study in addition to reimbursement for travel. If you are interested in participating or want more information please call or text our study team at (917) 565-1581 or email us at