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and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Finding Causes and Treating Depression in Teenagers

Join a Research Study: Enrolling locally from the Washington, D.C. metro region

To find out if you qualify, email the study team ( or call 301-827-1350 [TTY: 711].

This research study seeks to find causes and treatments of depression in teenagers. The study goals are to increase our knowledge of treatments for depression and understand how the brain changes when teenagers have depression. The study will also compare teenagers with depression to those without mental health diagnoses.

This outpatient study is recruiting participants ages 11-17 who are depressed. They must have a pediatrician or other medical provider, be medically healthy, and able to perform research tasks. They may not currently be hospitalized, psychotic or actively suicidal. Teenagers with depression are eligible even if they are taking medication.

The study begins with an evaluation that includes clinical assessment, interviews, and questionnaires.

  • Visits may include paper-and-pencil and computer tests of mood, memory, and thinking; specialized computer games; and structural and brain imaging. If eligible, study participants may return several times a year for up to two years. This part of the study does not involve treatment.
  • Participants may be eligible for outpatient treatment for up to 25 weeks with in-person and virtual visits. This includes evidenced-based “talk” therapy. Participants may choose either Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescents (IPT-A) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). If indicated, participants may opt to receive standard medication treatments along with psychotherapy. Research includes computer tasks and brain imaging.

All clinical evaluations, research tasks and visits are at no cost to you. Participants are compensated for research activities. Parents and teenager must agree to the teenager’s participation in research.

The study is conducted at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland and enrolls participants from the Washington DC Metro region within 50 miles of NIH. Transportation expenses are reimbursed by NIMH.


To find out if you qualify, email the study team ( or call 301-827-1350 [TTY: 711].

Study Identifiers

  • NIMH Protocol Number: 18-M-0037
  • Study Number: 03388606 

Investigator(s): Daniel Pine, M.D.