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Featured Studies

Featured studies include only those currently recruiting participants. Studies with the most recent start date appear first.


Sleep Promotion Program Primary Care (SPP PC) Open Trial 

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: May 13, 2024
Eligibility: 12 Years to 18 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Investigators developed a brief, scalable, behavioral Sleep Promotion Program (SPP) for adolescents with short sleep duration and sleep-wake irregularity, which relies on one individual session and smart phone technology to deliver evidence-based strategies. This open trial portion of the R34 will focus on conducting an open trial (n=8) to iteratively refine provider training, implementation procedures, and SPP program, per participant and staff feedback.


Better Sleep Study 

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: March 15, 2024
Eligibility: 12 Years to 18 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): UCSF Nancy Friend Pritzker Psychiatry Building, San Francisco, California, United States

The overall aim of this proposal is a confirmatory efficacy trial sufficiently powered and designed to test the hypothesis that improving the relationship between biological circadian timing and waketime, a novel modifiable target, improves depression outcomes in a subgroup of adolescents with depression and a misaligned relationship between biological circadian timing and waketime utilizing a cognitive-behavioral sleep intervention.


A Sleep Focused Parenting Intervention for Preschool Aged Children at Risk for ADHD 

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: December 1, 2023
Eligibility: 3 Years to 5 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

The goal of this pilot clinical effectiveness trial is to compare a brief parent behavioral intervention (PBI) to a modified sleep focused PBI (SF-PBI) delivered by therapists in pediatric primary care for families of children 3-5 years old with sleep problems and early ADHD symptoms.

The main aims are to:

Demonstrate acceptability, feasibility, and appropriateness of the SF-PBI. Examine change in sleep and ADHD symptoms among preschoolers with ADHD symptoms receiving SF-PBI compared to the brief PBI.


NIMH Rhythms and Blues Study: A Prospective Natural History Study of Motor Activity, Mood States, and Bipolar Disorder 

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: November 3, 2023
Eligibility: 12 Years to 70 Years, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, United States

Background:

Mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, can have serious effects on a person s life. People with bipolar disorder are more likely to have heart disease and abuse substances. In this natural history study, researchers would like to learn more about the connection between exercise and mental health in people with and without mood disorders.

Objective:

To better understand relationships among physical activity, sleep, and mental health.

Eligibility:

People aged 12 to 60 years with a history of a mood disorder. Healthy spouses and relatives with no mood disorders are also needed.

Design:

Participants will be in the study up to 2 years.

For up to 20 days in a row, at 4 times during the study, participants will:

Complete an electronic diary on their smartphone. Participants will answer questions about their mood, health, sleep, and daily activities.

Wear an activity monitor, like a wristwatch, that records how much they move.

Wear a light sensor, as a necklace, to record the amount of light in their environment.

Some participants will do additional tests. Twice during the study, for 3 days in a row, they will:

Wear monitors to record their temperature, heart rate, and sleep.

Provide saliva samples.

Complete cognitive tasks on their smartphone.

Participants will visit the NIH clinic 2 times. They will have a physical exam, with blood and urine tests. They will wear a heart monitor. They will ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes. They may have an imaging scan.

Some participants will stay overnight. They will go to sleep wearing a cap to measure their brain activity.


Human Learning of New Structured Information Across Time and Sleep 

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: June 5, 2023
Eligibility: 18 Years to 35 Years, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Acting adaptively requires quickly picking up on structure in the environment and storing the acquired knowledge for effective future use. Dominant theories of the hippocampus have focused on its ability to encode individual snapshots of experience, but the investigators and others have found evidence that it is also crucial for finding structure across experiences. The mechanisms of this essential form of learning have not been established. The investigators have developed a neural network model of the hippocampus instantiating the theory that one of its subfields can quickly encode structure using distributed representations, a powerful form of representation in which populations of neurons become responsive to multiple related features of the environment.

The first aim of this project is to test predictions of this model using high resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in paradigms requiring integration of information across experiences. The results will clarify fundamental mechanisms of how humans learn novel structure, adjudicating between existing models of this process, and informing further model development. There are also competing theories as to the eventual fate of new hippocampal representations. One view posits that during sleep, the hippocampus replays recent information to build longer-term distributed representations in neocortex. Another view claims that memories are directly and independently formed and consolidated within the hippocampus and neocortex.

The second aim of this project is to test between these theories. The investigators will assess changes in hippocampal and cortical representations over time by re-scanning participants and tracking changes in memory at a one-week delay. Any observed changes in the brain and behavior across time, however, may be due to generic effects of time or to active processing during sleep.

The third aim is thus to assess the specific causal contributions of sleep to the consolidation of structured information. The investigators will use real-time sleep electroencephalography to play sound cues to bias memory reactivation. The investigators expect that this work will clarify the anatomical substrates and, critically, the nature of the representations that support encoding and consolidation of novel structure in the environment.


The Impact of Reactivation During Sleep on the Consolidation of Abstract Information in Humans 

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: March 29, 2023
Eligibility: 18 Years to 35 Years, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

In any given cognitive domain, representations of individual elements are not independent but are organized by means of structured relations. Representations of this underlying structure are powerful, allowing generalization and inference in novel environments. In the semantic domain, structure captures associations between different semantic features or concepts (e.g., green, wings, can fly) and is known to influence the development and deterioration of semantic knowledge. The investigators recently found that humans more easily learn novel categories that contain clusters of reliably co-occurring features, revealing an influence of structure on novel category formation. However, a critical unknown is whether learned representations of structure are closely tied to category-specific elements, or whether such representations become abstract to some extent, transformed away from the experienced features. Further, if abstract structural representations do emerge, prior work provides intriguing hints that these representations may require offline consolidation during awake rest or sleep. The investigators have developed a paradigm in which carefully designed graph structures govern the pattern of feature co-occurrences within individual categories. Here the investigators implement a "structure transfer" extension of this paradigm in order to determine whether learning one structured category facilitates learning of a second identically structured category defined by a new set of features. This facilitation would provide evidence that structure representations are abstract to some degree. Aim 1 will use these methods to evaluate whether abstract structural representations emerge immediately during learning. Aim 2 will determine whether these representations persist, or emerge, over a delay, and whether sleep-based consolidation in particular is needed. The role of replay of recent experience during sleep will be evaluated using electroencephalography (EEG) paired with closed-loop targeted memory reactivation (TMR), a technique that enables causal influence over the consolidation of recently learned information in humans. This work will inform and constrain theories of semantic learning as well as theories of structure learning and representation more broadly.


Sustainable Habits for Encouraging Even Teen Sleep 

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: October 21, 2022
Eligibility: 12 Years to 14 Years, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): Duke Children's Primary Care North Durham, Durham, North Carolina, United States

This study will examine the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of two digital sleep interventions in improving sleep regularity and psychiatric health during a critical period of adolescence.


Circadian Influence on Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD 

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: July 1, 2022
Eligibility: 25 Years to 45 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Proposed research will examine time-of-day effects on trauma-related fear extinction using Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) telemedicine for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD). The primary mechanistic outcome measure will be change in psychophysiological reactivity to script-driven imagery (SDI-PR) measured, in person, at pre-treatment, after 5 PE sessions (mid-treatment), and after all 10 PE sessions (post-treatment). A secondary mechanistic outcome will be session-to-session reduction in peak subjective units of distress (SUDS) ratings to imaginal exposures. The primary clinical outcome will be change in Clinican Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5) severity score; a secondary clinical outcome will be session-to-session reduction in self-reported PTSD symptoms using the PTSD checklist (PCL-5). Participants meeting inclusion criteria (described below) will be randomized to either PE sessions that begin from 07:00 to a time no later than 2 hours past a participant's customary rise time, or to the last treatment session of the day beginning at 16:00 or later (26 per arm). Participants will complete daily at-home imaginal-exposure homework within the same time frame as their PE sessions are scheduled, i.e., within 2 hours of awakening for morning (AM) group and between 16:00 and 2 hours before bedtime for late afternoon (PM) group.


The Role of the Circadian System in Binge Eating Disorder 

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: January 15, 2021
Eligibility: 18 Years to 50 Years, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): Lindner Center of HOPE / University of Cincinnati, Mason, Ohio, United States

Binge eating disorder (BED) shows prominent circadian features that suggest a delay in circadian phase, and preliminary evidence shows binge eating may be responsive to chronobiological interventions, implicating a circadian system dysfunction in its pathophysiology. What remains lacking, however, is comprehensive knowledge of the characteristics of circadian system dysfunction in BED, and whether this dysfunction represents a therapeutic target in BED. There is therefore a critical need to characterize circadian system dysfunction in BED, and evaluate it as a potential therapeutic target. Without such information, the understanding on the role of the circadian system in BED and its potential as a new therapeutic target will remain limited.


Studying Childhood-onset Behavioral, Psychiatric, and Developmental Disorders 

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: December 27, 2012
Eligibility: 99 Years and Younger, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, United States

Background:

- Many psychiatric, behavioral, and developmental disorders are genetic. This means that they tend to run in families. Some begin in childhood, while others do not appear until adulthood. Researchers want to look at people of all ages who have these disorders that started in childhood. They will also look at relatives of people with these disorders. This information will allow doctors to learn more about childhood behavioral problems and how they are inherited. It may also help doctors treat those disorders.

Objectives:

- To study the onset and treatment of childhood behavioral, psychiatric, and developmental disorders.

Eligibility:

Individuals of any age who have a psychiatric, autism spectrum, or developmental disorder, or other behavioral problems. Family members of individuals with the above disorders. This group may include parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, and children.

Design:

Participants will be screened with a medical history and physical exam. They will have a psychiatric history with tests of thinking, judgment, and behavior. Blood and urine samples will be collected. Brain imaging scans will be performed to look at brain function. They may have a spinal tap to collect cerebrospinal fluid. Relatives will have a medical history and physical exam. They will also have a psychiatric history with tests of thinking, judgment, and behavior. Blood and urine samples will be collected. Brain imaging scans will be performed to look at brain function. A relative s exams may reveal a behavioral or other disorder. If so, he or she may re-enroll on the study as a person with the disorder.


Family Study of Affective and Anxiety Spectrum Disorders 

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: May 21, 2004
Eligibility: 7 Years to 120 Years, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, United States

This study will examine how depression, anxiety, and migraine run in families. It will help in defining the risk factors for physical, mental, and health problems-as well as define ways that those problems may be prevented and treated.

A broad range of ages among family members will be included to evaluate the patterns of how these disorders are expressed throughout people's lives. Children of all ages will be included, and those ages 8 to 17 will be interviewed directly.

Assessments will be collected through criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV as well as the spectrum, or range, of mood disorders and co-existing conditions. A member of the study team will visit the participants at home or will do an interview by telephone. Participation will take approximately 3 to 4 hours. Children will complete questionnaires given by the research team as well as questionnaires that they will do by themselves. The questions will pertain to the children's health, including physical and mental health and medical history, social relationships, problems, skills, and ways of dealing with important or stressful issues in their lives. These questionnaires will take up to 1 hour to complete.

Health history gathered from adult participants will pertain to height, weight, exercise, and general function. Women will be asked about the use of oral contraceptives, estrogen, and progesterone. In addition, there will be questionnaires on personality and temperamental traits, that is, behavior and impulsiveness. Questions will also involve social intuition, family and other environmental factors, general functioning, and basic demographics such as ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, marital status, education level, and employment history.

Families enrolled in this phase of the research will be invited to participate in the next phase. There would be follow-up to evaluate the development of mood disorders, subtypes, and syndromes across the lifespan.