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Bipolar Research Studies

Do Involuntary Movements Have a Hold on You?

Feb. 2, 2015

We invite those who are experiencing involuntary movements in their face or other parts of their body – and suffer from schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or a mood disorder – to see if they may qualify for the Kinect 3 Study. The purpose of this clinical research study is to determine the safety and effectiveness of an investigational oral medication for tardive dyskinesia.

Each individual will be evaluated to determine his or her eligibility. Those who qualify will receive study medication, study-related medical exams, and lab tests at no charge. To learn more, visit

Compensation for time and travel may be available.

Kinect 3 Study

Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder Study

February 2, 2015

Bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD) are common, severe, chronic and often life-threatening illnesses. Impairment in physical and social functioning resulting from depression can be just as severe as other chronic medical illnesses. Recent preclinical and clinical studies suggest that the glutamatergic system is involved in the mechanism of action of antidepressants. In two separate trials, we tested riluzole (an inhibitor of glutamate release) and found it to have antidepressant properties in patients with MDD and bipolar depression (BD). In another study (Substudy 1), we found that the non-competitive NMDA antagonist (ketamine) was effective in treatment-resistant MDD. Ketamine resulted in rapid, robust and relatively sustained antidepressant effects. Response with ketamine occurred within 2 hours and last approximately 1 week. The current protocol consists of 6 subs tudies designed to address 6 major questions. 

Two of these studies (1 and 5) have met their enrollment quota and sufficient analyzable data has been obtained
Standard antidepressant medications can take weeks or months to achieve their full effects. Several studies seek to better understand the causes of depression and evaluate the mechanisms in the brain that are related to rapid antidepressant improvement.  NIH studies enrolls depressed persons between the ages of 18 and 65 (or those with bipolar disorder who are currently in a depressive phase) for an inpatient period of 2- to 3-months.  Researchers will evaluate how the experimental medication ketamine, versus placebo, affects glutamate in the brain and whether a rapid reduction of antidepressant symptoms (within hours) can be achieved and sustained.

The studies are conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.  There is no cost to participate. We enroll eligible participants locally and from around the country. Travel arrangements provided and costs covered by NIMH. (Arrangements vary by distance and by specific study.) After completing the study participants receive short-term follow-up care while transitioning back to a provider.     

Participants who consent will have a multimodal MRI and MEG scan in the drug-free period before receiving the intravenous infusion of either ketamine or saline solution. They will repeat the MEG procedure 4-5 hours after each of the two infusions, and will repeat the MRI procedure between the day of infusion to two days following the infusion. 
Participants who show an antidepressant response (50% reduction in MADRS) following infusion 1 or infusion 2 will undergo an interim assessment using the same MRI and MEG scan battery to assess relapse (if the response is lost) or sustained response (if the response is retained) 10 to 11 days post-infusion, depending on availability of scanning resources.   Non-responders will undergo the interim MRI and MEG scan sessions at 10 to 11 days post-infusion as scan-time allows. 
In a subset of 26 participants, total sleep deprivation (TSD) for 40 hours (7am to 11pm the subsequent day) will be investigated at the behavioral and neural level as a rapid acting antidepressant prior to Phase II of this study.  Individuals who participate in this optional component of the subs study will require an additional 7 days for their drug free period. In the evening prior to the sleep deprivation period, participants will undergo a baseline 3T MRI (within 2 days of TSD) and a high field 7T MRI scan (within 2 days of TSD) to acquire images of the brain prior to sleep deprivation. This will be followed by one 7T scan after the sleep deprivation period toward the end of the 40 hour period, but before recovery sleep. During the MRI scan participants will play a simple reward-learning task and also perform a cognitive emotional task whereby emotional faces will be presented, while functional images are acquired. Additionally, two MEG scans and two sleep EEGs will be acquired to examine the electrophysiology of response and relapse. During the MEG scan participants will wear an MEG compatible EEG cap and leads. Total sleep deprivation will occur approximately 1 week following the beginning of the drug-free period.    

Inclusion criteria for participants with MDD or BD
1. Male or female subjects, 18 to 55 years of age.
2. Age of onset less than 40 years of age.
3. Female subjects of childbearing age must be using a medically accepted method of contraception.
4. Each subject must have a level of understanding sufficient to agree to all required tests and examinations and sign an informed consent document.
5. Subjects must fulfill DSM-IV criteria for Major Depression single episode or recurrent without psychotic features, or Bipolar Disorder (296.5 for Bipolar I Disorder or 296.89 for Bipolar II Disorder) without psychotic symptoms based on clinical assessment and confirmed by a structured diagnostic interview (SCID-P).
6. Subjects must have an initial score on the MADRS of at least 20 at screening, and at baseline for Phase I of Substudy 4. Subjects with bipolar disorder must have a YMRS of 12 or less at baseline for Phase I.
7. Current or past history of lack of response to one adequate antidepressant trial, operationally defined using the Antidepressant Treatment History Form (ATHF); a failed adequate trial of ECT would count as an adequate antidepressant trial.
8. Current major depressive episode of at least 4 weeks duration.
9. In women of childbearing age, a negative pregnancy test within 24 hours of MRI.

Exclusion criteria for participants with MDD or BD
1.   Current psychotic features or a diagnosis of Schizophrenia or any other psychotic disorder as defined in the DSM-IV.
2.   Subjects with a history of DSM-IV drug or alcohol dependency or abuse (except for caffeine or nicotine    dependence) within the preceding 3 months. In addition, subjects who currently are using drugs (except for caffeine or nicotine) must not  have used illicit substances in the 2 weeks prior to screen and must have a negative alcohol and drug urine test (except for prescribed benzodiazepines) urine test at screening.
3.  Female subjects who are either pregnant or nursing.
4.  Serious, unstable illnesses including hepatic, renal, gastroenterologic, respiratory, cardiovascular (including ischemic heart disease), endocrinologic, neurologic, immunologic, or hematologic disease.
5.  Presence of any medical illness likely to alter brain morphology and/or physiology (e.g., hypertension, diabetes) even if controlled by medications.
6.  Clinically significant abnormal laboratory tests.
7.  Subjects with clinical hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
8.  Subjects with one or more seizures without a clear and resolved etiology.
9.  Treatment with a reversible MAOI within two weeks prior to Phase I of Substudy 4.
10. Treatment with fluoxetine within five weeks or aripiprazole within three weeks before Phase I of Substudy 4.
11. Treatment with any other concomitant medication (Appendix 4) 14 days prior to Phase I of Substudy 4.
12. Presence of metallic (ferromagnetic) implants (e.g, heart pacemaker, aneurysm clip).
13. Subjects who, in the investigator’s judgment, pose a current serious suicidal or homicidal risk, or who have a MADRS item 10 score of >4.

Inclusion criteria for control subjects
1.  Age 18-55 years.
2.  Written informed consent completed.
3.  In women of childbearing age, a negative pregnancy test within 24 hours of MRI.

Exclusion criteria for control subjects
1.   Current or past Axis I diagnosis
2.   Presence of metallic (ferromagnetic) implants (e.g., heart pacemaker, aneurysm clips).
3    Presence of medical illness likely to alter brain morphology and/or physiology (e.g., hypertension, diabetes) even if controlled by medications.
4.   Treatment with any of the exclusionary medications detailed in Appendix 4 14 days prior to Phase 1 of the Substudy 4.
5.   Current or past alcohol or substance abuse or dependence diagnosis (except for nicotine or caffeine). 
6.   Presence of psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives.
7.   Female subjects who are either pregnant or nursing.
For Inquiries about our studies, please contact:

Libby Jolkovsky, M.S.

Research Study: Parents with Bipolar Disorder

Date: December 15, 2014

Are you a woman who is 18 or over?
Does your father have bipolar disorder? (If your father is no longer living, did he have bipolar disorder?)
Did you grow up living with your father?

If the answers to the above questions are yes, please consider participating in a 60-90 minute informal interview talking about your experience growing up with a bipolar father.

My name is Rayna Harris, a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley.  I am conducting interviews for my research about a daughter’s perspective of growing up with a bipolar father.

Unfortunately there is very little research that focuses on the experience of children who grew up with a bipolar parent.  While there is some information written on the experience of children living with a mentally ill parent in general, there is far less on parents with bipolar disorder.  It is hoped the findings of this study will provide mental health providers with a greater understanding of a daughter’s experience growing up in a family with a bipolar father to allow for more and better interventions in the future.

If you would like to participate, please contact me to set up an in-person interview at your earliest convenience. You can email me at: or call (510) 761-8130.

Upon completion of participation in this study, you will receive a Starbucks gift card.

Thank you in advance for your time and interest. I look forward to hearing from you!

Bipolar Disorder Study

Date: October 20, 2014

If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and are between the ages of 16 and 25, you may be eligible for our research study.

We are recruiting participants for a study about emotion perception in people with bipolar disorder. The study will test a computer-based intervention designed to improve emotion perception.
The study consists of four office visits on the Albert Einstein College of Medicine campus in the Bronx.

Participants must:
1. Have bipolar disorder
2. Be between 16 and 25 years old
3. Have a parent / caregiver who will agree to be interviewed
All participants will be compensated for taking part in the study.

You can learn more about the study by contacting us by phone or e-mail.

Call Anna Van Meter, Ph.D. (principal investigator) at 718.430.3861 or e-mail us at

Bipolar 1 | CTT Research Study

May 29, 2014

Clinical Trials Texas, Inc. (CTT) is conducting a research study for individuals with Bipolar 1 Disorder who are currently in a depressive episode.  The study will be testing the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medicine when compared to a placebo (inactive substance).

In this research study the investigational medicine is being tested to see if-when taken at bedtime-it will decrease the symptoms of depression associated with Bipolar 1 Disorder.
Qualified participants may receive study-related medical care from a board certified psychiatrist, diagnostic testing, study medication, and study exams at no cost.

You may be eligible if you:

  • Are 18-75 years of age,
  • Are currently depressed,
  • Are taking medication for bipolar disorder,
  • Additional criteria may apply

For more information contact:
Clinical Trials of Texas, Inc.
210-949-0122 or apply online at

Compensation may be available for time and travel.

Have you been diagnosed with bipolar depression?

Date: January 13, 2014

Are you currently depressed?

Are you between the ages of 21-55?

Interested in participating in a research study at McLean Hospital?

We are investigating the effects of Low Field Magnetic Stimulation on bipolar depression.

Participation involves clinical screening and three 20-minute treatments with our LFMS device.

Participants are compensated up to $275

Contact Sierra at 617-855-4433 or  for information.

Are you a new mom with bipolar disorder or manic depression?

Date: January 10, 2014

We are recruiting women who:

  •  Are at least 18 years old
  •  Are within 18 months postpartum of their most recent pregnancy
  •  Have a history of bipolar disorder or manic depression 

You may qualify for a research study that could help researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Nursing School better understand the experience of pregnancy for women with bipolar disorder. If you qualify, this research project involves a 1-2 hour telephone interview where we will ask you about your most recent pregnancy experience and a short online questionnaire about your emotions. If you would like to participate in this study, please complete this brief online screening tool: http://bpdpregnancy.comor e-mail to complete it over the phone. Compensation for this study is a $15 gift card to Target or Wal-Mart.

Do you suffer from bipolar?

Take part in a research study of an investigational medicine at no cost.

Qualifications :

  • Ages 19 to 65 </ li>
  • Bipolar disorder type 1
  • Currently stable

For more information contact Premier Psychiatric Research Institute at (402) 476-6060 (Option 4) and

Do you have bipolar disorder?

Date: September 13, 2013

Are you currently not depressed or manic?

Do you feel that your memory or attention are impaired?

If yes, you may be eligible for a study with investigational medicine

For more information, please contact Katie at the Mount Sinai Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research Program: 212-241-3089.

If you or a loved one suffer from schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or a gastrointestinal disorder and are experiencing involuntarymovements in your face or other parts of your body, you may qualify for a medical research study.

Date: April 18, 2013

If you have schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or a gastrointestinal disorder (including trouble with reflux and/or gastric emptying) and experience symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, you’re invited to see if you may qualify for a clinical research study to determine if an investigational drug may help you manage your involuntarymovements.

Each individual must be 18 to 85 years of age, and will be evaluated to determine eligibility. All participants will receive study-related medical exams and lab tests at no charge. Compensation for time and travel may be available.

To learn more, visit

Do you suffer from bipolar depression?

Date: April 10, 2013

Locations: Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska

Do you have?

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest
  • Excessive guilt
  • Poor productivity
  • Poor sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety

If you have these symptoms you may be able to participate in a clinical trial using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

You must be:

  • Diagnosed with Bipolar I or Bipolar II Disorder, and currently be in a depressive stage
  • Age 22-68
  • Other inclusion and exclusion criteria apply. Inquire for more information to see if you qualify.

Please contact Premier Psych at(402) 817-2218 or for more information.

Emotion in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

A VA Greater LA Healthcare System & UCLA study - Principal Investigator, William P. Horan, Ph.D

Date: February 28, 2013

What is this study about?

  • The purpose of this research study is to understand how the brain functions when processing emotional information in people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The study will involve electroencephalography (EEG) and psychophysiological techniques to obtain images of brain activity involved in processing emotional information.

Who is eligible?

  • We are looking for people who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition, you must be 18-60 years of age, not have a significant neurological condition (i.e. epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.), have no history of serious head injury, and no evidence of drug or alcohol abuse in the past 6 months, and no metal or medical implants in the body.

What do you have to do?

  • You may be asked questions about your personal history
  • You may be asked to perform emotional processing and decision making tasks while EEG equipment records electrical activity in your brain
  • You will be asked to perform a picture viewing task that will include images that might be experienced as scary, disturbing, or uncomfortable
What do you receive?
  • There is no medical benefit to you for participation. You will receive compensation for participation, parking, and travel.

How long does it take?

  • The interview will last approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • The EEG procedures will be from 2 to 3 hours

What are the risks?

  • The EEG recording involves remaining still in a seated position, so you may feel uncomfortable
  • You may experience some slight discomfort on your scalp from the EEG recording equipment
  • Some picture may make you feel uncomfortable

What do you receive?

  • There is no medical benefit to you for participation. You will receive compensation for participation, parking, and travel.

Please contact Amanda Bender, MS 310-478-3711 ext. 49234 for more information

Subjects with Bipolar Disorder wanted for a Research Study on Bipolar Depression and Brain Function Before and After Treatment

Date: January 24, 2013

The UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program is conducting a study in people with bipolar disorder who are currently depressed. The study seeks to understand changes in the brain that occur with successful treatment. The study will involve a psychiatric history interview, mood questionnaires, free medication for depression, free psychiatrist visits for 10 weeks and MRI scans before and after treatment.

You may be compensated up to $100 per MRI scan and up to $175 for clinical follow-up.

Currently we are looking for individuals who:

  • Have bipolar illness
  • Are currently feeling depressed or down
  • Are between the ages of 18 and 65 years old
  • Have no metal in the body, such as implants or metal screws
  • Have no current medical illnesses

To learn more, please call 310-794-6663
Principal Investigator: Lori Altshuler, M.D. Protocol

Pharmacogenomics of Mood Stabilizer Response in Bipolar Disorder (La Jolla, CA; Indianapolis, IN; Chicago, IL; Philadelphia, PA, Iowa City, Iowa; Baltimore, MD; Cleveland, OH; Ann Arbor, MI; Halifax, Canada; Bergen, Norway)

Date: May 2, 2012

The Pharmacogenomics of Mood Stabilizer Response in Bipolar Disorder study (PGBD) is a research study of patients with bipolar disorder and the role of genes in their response to medications. The study focuses on two of the most commonly used mood stabilizing medications, lithium and valproate (Depakote(r)). The goal is to identify the genes that influence whether a patient will have a good response to these medications.

Clinical Treatment with Lithium
Lithium is the best known and most widely used medication for bipolar disorder. If you have bipolar disorder and are willing and able to be treated with lithium, you may be eligible to participate in the study. If you participate in this clinical trial, you will receive a state of the art diagnostic evaluation and expert treatment with lithium. You may also receive compensation. Most people with bipolar disorder can be successfully treated with lithium, which has been shown to be the most effective medication for maintaining stability. The goal is to treat you with lithium alone, which may reduce the number of side effects you may experience.

Subjects can enter the study on multiple psychotropic medications. However, the goal is to attain lithium monotherapy within a maximum of 16 weeks. During this time, other mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics will be tapered.

For Eligibility Requirements, What to Expect and Study Locations, please visit our website or contact Anna Demodena (below).

Anna Demodena
Phone: 858-642-3590

Clinical trial of riluzole in pediatric bipolar disorder

Date: Oct. 6, 2011

This study is testing the effectiveness of riluzole versus placebo for decreasing anxiety in children with pediatric bipolar disorder (BP). Children and youth with bipolar disorder display episodic elevated mood and associated symptoms of decreased need for sleep, increased goal-directed behavior, and increased self-esteem/grandiosity.

Children ages 9 to 17 with BP may be eligible to participate in this 12- to 15-week inpatient or outpatient study. This study has four phases. During Phase I, participants are gradually withdrawn from all current psychotropic medications. Phase II is a one-week medication-free period. During Phase III, which lasts two weeks, participants are randomly assigned to also receive either riluzole or placebo (a “sugar pill”). Phase IV lasts for 6 weeks. During this time, participants continue riluzole or placebo.

At the end of the study, those who received placebo have the opportunity to receive riluzole.

All procedures and medications associated with the research are provided at no cost to participants, and assistance with transportation and lodging expenses is available. Schooling will be provided while on the inpatient unit or in day treatment.

To find out if you qualify or for more information, please call (301) 496-8381 or email us at

National Institute of Mental Health
National Institutes of Health
Department of Health & Human Services
[The principal researcher is Ellen Leibenluft, M.D., Chief, Unit on Affective Disorders, NIMH Pediatrics and Developmental Neuropsychiatry Branch]

Do you have a parent, child or sibling with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder?

Age: 18+
Location: By telephone, web or email.

If you answered "yes", we would love to hear from you! We are UBC researchers who have developed a questionnaire to help measure internalized stigma in first-degree relatives of people with a severe mental illness.

What is the purpose of the research?

Stigma affects individuals with a mental illness and their family members. The purpose of this study is to validate a questionnaire that we have recently developed to measure internalized stigma in first-degree family members (parents, brothers, sisters, and children) of people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder. The questionnaire will be used to gather information about how family members of people with mental illness experience stigma, which can also be helpful in evaluating the well being of family members. Later on, the questionnaire will also be used in the development and evaluation of strategies to reduce individuals’ internalized stigma.

Who can participate?

Parents, siblings, and children of people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder. We are looking for both men and women to participate in this study.

What is involved in participating?

If you participate in this study you will be asked to complete questionnaires at two time points that are one month apart. The questionnaires include the new stigma questionnaire as well as 7 other questionnaires (that ask about things like self-esteem and mood).

You do not have to travel to participate in this study; you can participate entirely from home by telephone and mail/email.

Each time point should take approximately 30 – 45 minutes of your time to complete.

How do I participate?

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Research Coordinator (Emily) at: 604-875-2000 x4732 or by email at

Posted: August 10, 2010

Survey of parents who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health are seeking parents who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder to participate in an online survey.  The survey will take about 45 minutes to complete.  In the survey, we ask questions about participants’ thoughts about their bipolar disorder and how they deal with bipolar disorder.  We also ask about participants’ thoughts about the chance that their children might get a mood disorder someday, and how they feel about that chance.  The survey is completely anonymous. 

To participate, you must:

  • Have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a biological parent of a child who is younger than 30 years old
  • Be willing to participate in the survey

Your child cannot have been diagnosed with a mood disorder or other serious psychiatric disorder.  Your child cannot have been adopted.  You must be (or must have been) involved in taking care of your child. Your child must be younger than 30 years of age.

Taking the survey could make you uncomfortable.  If you become uncomfortable, you can stop taking the survey.  There are no benefits to participating. 

If you would like to participate, please go to to take the survey.

If you have questions about the study, please contact the study co-investigator, Holly Peay, at or 301- 496-3979.

Posted Jan 7, 2010

Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Family Genetic Research Study

Location: Maryland
Age: 15-65

The MarylandPsychiatricResearchCenterat the University of Maryland School of Medicine is currently conducting a NIMH funded study on the genetic causes of Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder. The purpose of the study is discover how the genetic risk for these illnesses and their associated biological and behavioral traits is transmitted in families.

You may be eligible to participate in the study if you meet these conditions:

  • Age between 15-65 years
  • Diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder (with psychosis)
  • Have at least one biological first-degree relative, i.e., a sister, brother, mother or father willing to participate. The relative does not need to be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder but it is ok if they are
  • No serious medical, neuro-opthalmological or neurological illness (e.g., cancer, seizure disorders, encephalopathy)
  • No current substance abuse (within past 3 months) or past history of substance dependence (within 6 months or extensive history)
  • No ferromagnetic objects lodged in the body

Participation involves:

  • Clinical interviews to evaluate diagnosis and gather other personal information
  • Neuropsychological Tests to examine thinking abilities such as attention and memory
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)/Sensory Gating tests to measure brain activity in response to sounds
  • Eyetracking tests to measure eye movements and visual attention
  • MRI to measure brain structures and function
  • Blood sample for DNA (genetic) studies
  • Urine sample to screen for drugs and pregnancy

The total amount of time it takes to complete the study is approximately 14-16 hours. Transportation can be provided if needed. All participants will be compensated for their time.

For more details, call our research coordinator, Jennifer Jones, at 410-402-6823

Posted: April 15, 2009

Child Bipolar Disorder Study

Age: 10-17
Location: Ohio

Is your child or teen being treated for bipolar I disorder and still experiencing symptoms? 

Your child or teen may qualify to participate in a clinical research study in your area evaluating an investigational medication as a potential add-on treatment for bipolar I disorder in children and teens ages 10-17.  Children and teens enrolled in this study may continue on their current prescribed medications.  Each participant will receive comprehensive, study-related evaluations and investigational study medication at no cost. Compensation for time and travel may also be provided to those who qualify.  Please call The Ohio State University, Department of Psychiatry Clinical Research Office at 614-293-7109 or e-mail to learn more.

Posted: February 17, 2009

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