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Children

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

Anxiety and Attention and Emotional Memory

This outpatient study seeks healthy children between the ages of 8 and 17 to participate in research on mood and anxiety disorders. The study investigates how the brain changes during computer-based training tasks and how breathing patterns and emotions are related. Procedures include psychological interviews, a physical exam, lab work, and brain scans.

The study is conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Your child may be eligible if he/she is interested and has your consent to participate medically healthy, free of current or past history of psychiatric illness, not currently taking any medication.

First steps to participate include, calling NIMH, learning study details, asking about your eligibility, and consenting to participate. There is no cost to participate and compensation is provided.

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-402-2352 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

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

A Study of Brain Function and Symptoms in Children with Severe Mood Dysregulation

This observational research study seeks to describe the moods and behaviors of irritable children. Children who enroll in our studies have irritability that significantly impacts their functioning at home, in school, and with other children.

For those that are eligible, study participation includes a one-day outpatient evaluation. There are also up to 10 follow up visits that include diagnostic assessments, questionnaires, memory and thinking tasks, computer tasks, and brain imaging. Child can remain on current medications. Parent and child must agree to child’s participation.

The studies are currently enrolling participants who are:

  • 8- to 17-years old
  • angry, irritable, easily frustrated, or tend to have explosive temper outbursts
  • in treatment with a pediatrician, psychiatrist, or therapist
  • medically healthy, and not currently suicidal, psychotic, or hospitalized

There is no cost to participate. Compensation is provided.

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-496-8381 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

Join a Research Study: Enrolling nationally from around the country

Brain Imaging of Childhood Onset Psychiatric Disorders, Endocrine Disorders and Healthy Volunteers

The purpose of this study is to understand brain development during childhood and brain changes with aging. We will look at brain changes and development in healthy adults and children. We will also look at brain changes and development in people with different developmental disorders, including sex chromosome variations.

Previous studies have shown that parts of the brain develop at different times. They have also shown that brain development can be different in people with various diseases. However, we do not fully understand normal brain development and aging. We do not know how it differs in people with certain illnesses that affect thinking and behavior. We are just starting to understand how genes can affect brain development. This study examines the relationship between genes, brain development, and behavior throughout life. Participants have a research testing visit at the start of the study, and again every 2 years.  We will use tests including brain imaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We will also use physical and psychological examination and evaluation, and genetic testing. We may also ask you to have a skin biopsy, which is described in a separate consent form. We hope that a better understanding of brain development may lead to improved prevention and treatment of mental and behavioral disorders in the future.

This study includes people in good physical health, who are over 3 years old. People in this study may be without any known psychiatric/medical  conditions, or may have known conditions such as Sex Chromosome Variation, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and ADHD.

In this part of the study we are currently enrolling participants ages 5 to 25 with X/Y chromosome variations, such as Klinefelter (XXY), XYY, XXX, XXYY syndromes and others.

Parents and one full same-gender sibling (5-25 years old) are also eligible to participate. Parents of 4 year olds are welcome to contact us to learn about participation when their child turns 5.

Those with X/Y chromosome variations and siblings will have an initial 2-day outpatient visit and will be invited to return every two years.  Procedures during the visits include physical and mental health examinations, a blood draw, an MRI scan of the brain, and cognitive tests of thinking, memory, and attention.  We may also ask you to have a skin biopsy. Parents will be interviewed and complete questionnaires. After the visit, we will provide a report of the research test results. 

The study is conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland (just outside Washington, D.C.) and accepts participants from anywhere in the world. Transportation is provided from within the USA. Transportation, lodging, and meal allowance are included for the participant, one participating sibling, and one or two parents. There is no cost to participate in this outpatient visit and compensation is provided. Children must have parental permission to participate.

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-435-4516 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

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

Brain Imaging of Childhood Onset Psychiatric Disorders, Endocrine Disorders and Healthy Volunteers

The purpose of this study is to understand brain development during childhood and brain changes with aging. We will look at brain changes and development in healthy adults and children. We will also look at brain changes and development in people with different developmental disorders, including sex chromosome variations.

Previous studies have shown that parts of the brain develop at different times. They have also shown that brain development can be different in people with various diseases. However, we do not fully understand normal brain development and aging. We do not know how it differs in people with certain illnesses that affect thinking and behavior. We are just starting to understand how genes can affect brain development. This study examines the relationship between genes, brain development, and behavior throughout life.  Participants have a research testing visit at the start of the study, and again every 2 years. We will use tests including brain imaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We will also use physical and psychological examination and evaluation, and genetic testing. We may also ask you to have a skin biopsy, which is described in a separate consent form. We hope that a better understanding of brain development may lead to improved prevention and treatment of mental and behavioral disorders in the future.

This study includes people in good physical health, who are over 3 years old. People in this study may be without any known psychiatric/medical conditions, or may have known conditions such as Sex Chromosome Variation, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and ADHD.

In this part of the study we are currently enrolling healthy volunteers 5-25 years old without current or past psychiatric or neurological diagnoses.

Healthy Volunteers will have an initial visit lasting about 6 hours and will be invited to return every two years. Procedures include a physical examination, a blood draw, an MRI scan of the brain, and cognitive tests of thinking, memory, and attention.  We may also ask you to have a skin biopsy.

The study is conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland (just outside Washington, D.C. There is no cost to participate in this outpatient visit and compensation is provided. Children must have parental permission to participate.

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-435-4516 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

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

Comparing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to Severely Impairing Irritability: Investigations of Brain Function

This observational research study seeks to learn about the differences between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and severely impairing irritability in children. Researchers will describe the moods and behaviors of children and investigate brain function and irritability. Children with ADHD are being invited to participate as a comparison group in a larger research protocol of children with severe irritability.

Currently recruiting ages 8-17, with an ADHD diagnosis to participate in outpatient visits. Potential participants will have a one-day screening visit to determine eligibility. Eligible children will be invited to up to 10 follow-up visits that include diagnostic assessments, questionnaires, memory and thinking tasks, computer tasks, and brain imaging. Children must be medically healthy and not currently suicidal, psychotic, or hospitalized.

The study is conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Both parent and child must agree to the child’s participation in research. Children and parents are compensated for participation and travel. Child can remain on current medications.

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-496-8381 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

Join a Research Study: Enrolling nationally from around the country

Finding causes and treating depression in teenagers

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 as they grow up.

The 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.

Study participation begins with an outpatient evaluation that includes clinical assessment, interviews, and questionnaires.

  • Outpatient 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, up to age 25. This part of the study does not involve treatment.
  • Participants may be eligible for treatment (inpatient or outpatient) for up to 25 weeks. Participation includes evidenced-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and, if indicated, standard medications. Research includes computer tasks and brain imaging. Schooling will be provided while on the inpatient unit or in day treatment.

All clinical evaluations, research tasks and visits are free of cost. Participants are compensated for research activities. Parents and teenager must agree to the teenager’s participation in research.

The studies are conducted at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland and enroll participants from the local area and from across the United States. Transportation expenses are reimbursed by NIMH.

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To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-827-1350 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

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

How Does Puberty Affect Brain Development?

Your healthy child age 8, 12, or 13 is invited to participate in an NIH outpatient research study that examines how puberty affects brain development. Participation includes 1-3 day outpatient visits to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland every 8-10 months until age 17, for a physical examination, body measurements, questionnaires, MRI scans, blood draws, urine collection and x-rays. Participants must NOT have any chronic medical or psychiatric illnesses, nor be on any long-term medication. Parents must agree to their child’s participation. Evaluations and research procedures are free of cost. Compensation is provided. Call for information and eligibility criteria. 

To find out if you qualify, call 1-301-496-9576 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

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

Pediatric Mood and Anxiety Research

This pediatric research study seeks to learn how the brain functions in children and adolescents with anxiety and/or depression. These studies seek boys and girls ages 8-17 to participate in research at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Research participation includes brain imaging and computer-based problem solving and memory tasks. Treatment is available over 8 weeks of outpatient visits.

All participants will receive interviews to assess how they are doing in general, including his or her general mood, degree of nervousness and behavior. Each participant and one of his or her parents will be interviewed separately and together. All those enrolled in the study will have a physical examination. They will undergo tests involving problem-solving and memory and perform tasks that involve looking at pictures, remembering things, testing reaction times, and making simple choices.

Participants with anxiety or depression will first meet with a psychiatrist or psychologist for two weekly sessions of talk therapy. Those who remain anxious or depressed after these 2 weeks will have the 3 options based on their choice: 1) treatment with fluoxetine daily for 8 weeks 2) cognitive-behavioral therapy (a talk therapy) once a week for 8 weeks 3) a random assignment (50% chance) to either placebo or fluoxetine for 8 weeks. All participants will be seen approximately weekly for 8 weeks by a doctor to talk and complete verbal and written exercises. Blood samples will be drawn for laboratory tests before drug treatment and after it ends.

Those who have not improved by the end of the study will be offered other treatment for 1 to 3 months, and the clinicians will help with finding subsequent aftercare. Those who improve with treatment will continue therapy at NIH until an outside physician is able to assume responsibility for monitoring medication.

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-402-8225 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

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

Psychological Treatments for Youth with Severe Irritability

Children who enroll in our studies have irritability that significantly impacts their functioning at home, in school, and with other children. These studies seek to find out whether certain research treatments can be effective for children who are very irritable. 

Eligible children may be offered a diagnostic assessment, a new approach to cognitive behavioral therapy, or non-treatment research options. Parent and child must agree to child’s participation. Child can remain on current medications.

The studies are currently enrolling participants who are:

  • 8- to 17-years old
  • angry, irritable, easily frustrated, or tend to have explosive temper outbursts
  • in treatment with a pediatrician, psychiatrist, or therapist
  • medically healthy, and not currently suicidal, psychotic, or hospitalized

Participation includes a 1-day outpatient visit to confirm eligibility. Eligible families may choose to participate in:

  • outpatient treatment studies
  • a non-treatment study

There is no cost to participate. Compensation is provided.

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-496-8381 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].