Current Studies

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Call 646-774-8000 if you are interested in taking part in one of our research studies.

The DEPRESSION EVALUATION SERVICE (DES) conducts studies aimed at improving clinicians understanding and ability to treat depression. The DES conduct medication as well as non-medication based studies. Eligible participants receive free psychiatric evaluation and treatment of depressive disorders within the context of research studies. All research subjects must read and sign a consent form that describes the study procedures, risks, and potential benefits in detail. For more information about the consent process, please visit the site of the Institutional Review Board, which reviews research studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute to ensure the protection of human subject rights and welfare.

Current research studies at the DES focus on:

Twelve Weeks of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Depression: This study offers 12 individual free sessions of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) or Supportive Therapy to depressed adults. All sessions will be given virtually using Zoom. Participants must have internet access and video conferencing capabilities. Participants are randomly assigned to receive one of the two therapiesand are required to fill out forms weekly through the 12 weeks of treatment. During the study, participants can't be on psychotropic medications or attend any other psychotherapy. Participants will need to come in person before receiving sessions for a urine & blood test (protocol #6669)and once before and once after sessions for an EEG (protocol #6559). The purpose of this research study is to learn which variables predict who will benefit from each treatment and how these variables may changethroughout therapy. 

Tele-IPT vs. Tele-Pharmacotherapy for Depression in Patients with Non-Metastatic Breast Cancer: The goal of this research study is to compare evidence-based tele-therapies for patients with non-metastatic breast cancer and comorbid major depression. Participants will be randomly assigned (like by the flip of a coin) to receive twelve weeks of either interpersonal therapy (IPT) or pharmacotherapy with a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, either venlafaxine XR (Effexor) or escitalopram (Lexapro). All sessions will be held virtually via Zoom. Participants will be assessed by independent evaluators and will complete self-report questionnaires throughout the study. There will be a blood sample collected at the beginning and end of the study to measure C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation elevated in both breast cancer and depression. Participants will be offered $50 compensation as a token of thanks for completing the final evaluation at Week 12.

Efficacy and Safety of REL-1017 as Adjunctive Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: We are currently enrolling individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to participate in this research study. The main goals of this study are to assess the safety and efficacy of an investigational drug called REL-1017 as an adjunctive treatment for MDD. The study includes a 30-day screening period and a 28-day treatment period for a total of 58 days. Eligible participants will be randomly assigned to receive either REL-1017 (esmethadone) or a placebo (a pill without active study drug). Participants will also continue taking their regularly prescribed antidepressant medication. Study visits will include physical examination, vital signs, electrocardiograms, blood collection, urine collection, and assessments. Participants will be compensated for their time and reimbursed for travel expenses to and from the clinic.

Open-Label Study to Assess the Long-Term Safety of REL-1017 as a Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: We are currently enrolling individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to participate in this research study. This is a one-year open-label study to evaluate the long-term safety and tolerability of an investigational drug called REL-1017 (esmethadone) when taken alone (monotherapy) or when taken with other antidepressants (adjunctive therapy). Study visits will include physical examination, vital signs, electrocardiograms, blood collection, urine collection, and psychological assessments. Participants may be enrolled in the study for up to 13 months, consisting of 12 months of treatment and a 1-month post-treatment follow-up visit. Telephone contact will be made throughout the study.