Research Studies

Adults

A Neural Study of the Maturational Shift in Emotion Regulation in Healthy Aging and Depression (AMSER)

UConn Health investigates emotional control in healthy aging and depression.

In this study we are using brain imaging to look for brain changes related to happiness in older adults and other changes that might predict worsening in depression over two years.

Recruiting adults 45 to 75 years old who:

  • Have no history of depression

or

  • Are in remission from a depressive disorder

Participation involves:

  • 4 to 8 study appointments.
  • Interviews and evaluations.
  • Testing of thinking and memory.
  • One-time MRI brain scan at UConn Health
  • No cost for participation.
  • All study appointments, except the MRI, can be done remotely

Payment to participants includes $100 at completion of the baseline assessments and $50 at completion of each of the follow-up assessments at 6 and 12 months for a total of up to $200 for the 1-year study.

Principal Investigator: Lihong Wang, M.D., Department of Psychiatry

To learn more about the study, contact Melissa Chapps at 860-679-7588 or chapps@uchc.edu.

IRB #: 20-122-1

Enrollment End date: August 1, 2022

The Empower Study

This study examines ways to empower women to complete HIV testing and will determine whether financial incentives promotes HIV testing. Participants can earn up to $210 for their time, which includes 4 interviews over 15 months. All participants will also receive brief education from a trained counselor to encourage HIV testing, and some participants can earn an additional $120 for HIV testing. You may be eligible if you are a woman 18 years or older.

Principal Investigator: Kristyn Zajac, Ph.D.

Who to Contact: Ruth Fetter, 860-422-3210, fetter@uchc.edu

Spanish speaking participants can contact Maria Ortiz, 959-202-1176, maortiz@uchc.edu.

IRB #: 19-018-1

End date: May 2023

Dual Reinforcement Contingency Management for Alcohol Use Disorders

This study is to help people reduce drinking and could lead to better methods of treating substance abuse. Participants can earn $344 for their time, which consists of brief weekly visits with a research assistant for 3 months and 6 interviews over 12 months. The study also includes the submission of breath, urine, and finger-prick blood samples periodically throughout treatment and follow-up phases. You may qualify if you are in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for alcohol use.

Principal Investigator: Sheila Alessi, Ph.D.

Who to Contact: Amy Novotny, 860-989-7105, anovotny@uchc.edu

IRB #: 19-146-2

End date: May 2024

Do You Have Depression?

A clinical research study is now enrolling eligible adults.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medicine in people with depression.

You may be eligible to participate if you:

  • Are 18 to 74 years of age.
  • Have been diagnosed with depression.
  • Have taken antidepressants in the past that did not work well for you.
  • Are currently taking an antidepressant medication but still have symptoms of depression.

If you are interested, additional eligibility criteria will be assessed by the study doctor or staff.

You can expect to be in the study for up to 10 to 12 weeks. If you stop the study early, you will be asked to complete the early withdrawal visit and come to the study center for additional assessments.

In some cases, you may have the option to continue participation for up to an additional 52 weeks.

Qualified patients may receive study-related medical care and investigational study medication at no cost. The study will not pay for other medical care or current medication(s) needed to support your daily health care routine.

To learn more about this clinical research study, please call our study team at 860-679-7539.

IRB#: W21-027-2

Enrollment end date: April 2022

Are You Starting a New Medication to Treat Depression?

Do you use a smartphone?

Are you willing to use a Fitbit (provided by study)?

You could help us develop a treatment prediction system for patients with depression.

Study Eligibility: English speaker, 18 years or older, and starting a new medication treatment for depression or starting a dose increase of existing depression treatment

Compensation for all 12 weeks of participation: $90

This study is being conducted by Dr. Jayesh Kamath from UConn Health’s Department of Psychiatry and Dr. Bing Wang from UConn’s Computer Science and Engineering Department.

Call us at 860-679-7539 to learn more.

IRB#: H19-078

Enrollment end date: April 2022

Treatment-resistant Depression (TRD)

Dr. Jayesh Kamath from UConn Health’s Department of Psychiatry is conducting a clinical research study of an investigational medication for adults with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of the investigational medication when it is used alone in adults with TRD.

You may be eligible to participate if you:

  • Are 18 years of age or older.
  • Have been diagnosed with TRD.
  • Have not adequately responded to at least 2 different antidepressant treatments.

If you are interested, additional eligibility criteria will be assessed by the study doctor or staff. Study participation will last up to 24 weeks.

Qualified participants may receive investigational study medication and some study-required medical care at no cost.

Want to learn more? Call our study coordinator at 860-679-7539.

IRB#: O21-071-2

Enrollment end date: January 2022

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Have you experience or witnessed a traumatic event? Do you have unwanted memories, experience flashbacks, or avoid situations that remind you of the event? If so, you may have a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Dr. Jayesh Kamath, from UConn Health’s Department of Psychiatry, is currently enrolling volunteers for a clinical trial looking at an investigational drug for the treatment of PTSD. To pre-qualify for this study, volunteers must be 18 to 65 years of age and have been experiencing PTSD symptoms for at least the past 6 months.

All study-related tests and study drugs will be provided at no cost. Reimbursement for study-related travel and other expenses related to participation may be available.

To learn more, please call 860-679-7539.

IRB#: U20-082-2

Enrollment end date: February 2022

Want to Reduce Your Drinking?

Male and female drinkers needed for a research study. Free study medication for 24-weeks (active drug or inactive placebo) and up to $620 for completing all study visits. Call Dr. Covault’s office at 860-679-7000. All calls are confidential.

Principal Investigator: Jonathan Covault, M.D., Ph.D.

IRB#: 19-147-2

Enrollment end date: 2024

Do You Drink Alcohol? Are You Looking for a Job?

Volunteers needed for a research study. This study looks at how unemployment and alcohol use relate.

Participation involves:

  • 6 interviews over a year.
  • Individual meetings 1 time per week for 12 weeks that may help you find a job.
  • Answering cell phone calls regularly for 12 weeks to monitor alcohol use.

Participants are compensated up to $994 in checks and gift cards over the year for their time and participation. Some participants have chances to win prizes worth $1 to $100.

Call Bill at 860-729-2648 for a confidential screening. Locations throughout Connecticut.

Principal Investigator: Carla Rash, Ph.D., Department of Medicine

IRB#: 15-041-2

Enrollment end date: June 30, 2022

Do You Have HIV/AIDS? Are You Looking for a Job?

Volunteers needed for a research study. This study looks at how to promote employment for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

Participation involves:

  • 7 interviews over 18 months.
  • Individual meetings 1 time per week for 16 weeks that may help you find a job.

Participants are compensated up to $495 in checks and gift cards for their time and participation. Some participants have chances to win prizes worth $1 to $100.

Call Maria at 203-800-6614 for a confidential screening. Locations throughout Connecticut.

Principal Investigator: Carla Rash, Ph.D., Department of Medicine

IRB#: 18-1782

Enrollment end date: January 31, 2024

Cognitive Remediation of Cognitive Control in Late-Life Depression

Do you have concern over your thinking and memory? Would you like to participate in a study on cognitive fitness?

UConn Health study investigates effects of brain training treatment on thinking, memory, and mood. We are recruiting men and women over 60 who are currently being treated with antidepressants. We want to understand whether engaging in cognitively stimulating activities (e.g., brain games, watching educational videos, reading) can improve memory, thinking, and symptoms of depression in older adults.

Participation involves:

  • Interviews and evaluations.
  • Testing of thinking and memory.
  • Optional MRI brain scans.
  • No cost for participation.
  • 32-40 hours of brain-training exercises over 4-6 weeks. Subjects will be randomly assigned to 1 of 2 cognitive fitness programs.
  • All appointments and training exercises, except for optional MRIs, are completed remotely from your home.

    Payment to participants includes $40 at completion of each of the two assessment visits and $40 at completion of each of two optional MRI visits for a total of up to $160 for the 14-month study.

    To learn more about this study, call Dr. Manning at 860-679-2272.

    Principal Investigator: Kevin Manning, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry

    IRB#: 19-240-2

    Enrollment end date: August 1, 2023

    Families with Children

    Adaptation & Resilience in Children Study (ARCS)

    ARCS is a large study that seeks to understand how family conflict and other stressors affect the development and behavior of young children. ARCS will help us to identify ways that families and professionals can help to build resilience in young children who have experienced family conflict or violence.

    We invite participation from mothers and their 4- to 6-year-old children. We are seeking mothers who have experienced partner conflict and mothers who have not experienced it. Mothers must be 18 years or older and be able to answer study questions in English.

    This study involves a visit to our child-friendly laboratory. Mothers answer survey and interview questions and do activities with their children. Kids do computer and puzzle-like activities with one of our team members. In addition, kids “talk” with our puppets about their feelings and experiences. We also use safe, sticky sensors to see how kids react to different emotional facial expressions presented on a computer screen. (Don’t worry! We explain all about the sensors at the time of the visit – mothers decide about it once they see how it all works.)

    There is plenty of time for breaks and snacks. The visit usually takes about 3 to 4 hours. Because kids usually finish before mothers do, we entertain them while they wait. Our lab is at 65 Kane Street in West Hartford. This is close to I-84 and bus routes. It is a building over from the Goldroc Diner.

    Mothers can earn up to $250 in gift cards to Stop and Shop. Children receive several gifts and prizes, including a UConn Health Kid Scientist t-shirt and backpack, toys, and other prizes.

    Travel support is available as needed. If visits occur during mealtime, we will help to coordinate so that you and your child can eat.

    Want to find out more? Contact our research coordinator at 860-798-8790 or enrollment specialist Mayra Pino at 860-384-5102.

    Want to know if you are eligible? Visit the ARCS U01 Screening Tool to answer our questions and find out if you are eligible in minutes!

    End date: May 2024

    Coordinated Anxiety Learning and Management (CALM)

    CALM is a study funded by the Department of Education aimed at comparing two brief nurse-delivered interventions to reduce anxiety and improve academic functioning.

    We invite participation from children ages 5-12 years old whose worry/anxiety makes life harder for them. Children must have a school nurse willing to participate. Both children and parents must be able to answer study questions in English.

    This study involves meeting with study staff virtually or in person (method to be determined based on preference or from district/state and CDC guidelines) for a free evaluation to determine study fit. If eligible, students will be assigned (like flipping a coin) to receive 1 of 2 free interventions for anxiety from the school nurse. Interventions include 5-6 brief (20-30 minutes) virtual student-nurse sessions to learn effective coping skills (1 in 5 students will wait 8 weeks before starting the intervention). Families will also meet with study staff two more times after the intervention so we can see if your child’s anxiety has improved.

    Families can receive up to $140 in virtual gift cards to either Target or Amazon for their participation.

    Our lab is at 65 Kane Street in West Hartford. This is close to I-84 and bus routes. Our building is next door to the Goldroc Diner.

    Want to find out more? Contact the CALM Team at 860-523-3779 or at CALM@uchc.edu.

     End date: May 2025

    Parent and Child Emotions Study (PACES)

    Have You Experienced Something Very Stressful?

    Parents who have experienced something very stressful and their children (9-12 years old) are invited to participate in the Parent and Child Emotions Study (PACES). This research study is designed to help us learn more about how children manage their emotions. We also hope to learn new ways for parents to help their children learn these skills. This can be especially important for families who have experienced stress.

    What Is Involved?

    • Participation takes place remotely from your home right now: Adults complete an on-line survey about stressful events that have occurred in your and your child’s life, your emotions, and how you cope with them. Kids answer questions about their emotions during an on-line video chat with a member of the study staff.
    • In about 6-12 months: You and your child will be invited to our lab to meet with study staff for an in-person visit to complete additional questionnaires and participate in activities together.
    • Your family will receive $50 in gift cards for completing the on-line portion and an additional $100 in gift cards for the in-person visit.

    Want to find out more? Contact the PACES Team at 860-523-6458 or at PACES@uchc.edu.

    Want to know if you are eligible? Visit the PACES Screening Tool to answer our questions and find out if you are eligible in minutes!

    Enrollment end date: May 2022

    Older Adults

    Apathy and Reward Systems in Alzheimer’s Disease

    This study seeks to understand cognitive and brain changes related to apathy (loss of interest and motivation) in early Alzheimer’s disease versus depression.

    Recruiting men and women ages 65 to 85 who have:

    • Early-stage Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment

    or

    • Depression

    Participation involves:

    • 4 to 7 appointments at UConn Health.
    • One-time blood draw.
    • Interviews and evaluations.
    • Testing of thinking and memory.
    • One-time MRI brain scan.
    • No cost for participation.
    • During COVID-19, most appointments can be done remotely

    Payment to participants includes $100 at completion of the baseline assessment, $100 at completion of the 12-month assessments, and $75 at completion of the 24-month assessments for a total of up to $285 for the 2-year study.

    To learn more about the study, contact Darlene Winkelman at 860-679-8935 or winkelman@uchc.edu or Suzanne Crumb at 860-679-8497 or crumb@uchc.edu.

    Principal Investigator: David Steffens, M.D., Department of Psychiatry

    IRB#: 19-214-1

    Enrollment end date: August 1, 2022