Current Studies

  • Depression affects 15 million Americans each year. Depression and suicidal behavior are transmitted in families due to a combination of genes and environment. Depressive illness and the risk of suicidal behavior are associated with altered brain function that we can detect with brain imaging. Therefore, this study aims to examine brain function in adults who have a relative who has suffered from depression and made a suicide attempt. The goal of the study is to detect which adult children are at risk of developing depression and who is not going to develop depression.
  • We are trying to understand what causes bipolar disorder and how medications treat bipolar depression. If you participate, you will have two different brain scans (MRI and PET scan). You will also have antidepressant treatment for free. We will then be able to see whether information on the brain scans connects with how people do on the medications. The medications are common, and are not experimental. You will be able to discuss the treatment with Dr. Lan before starting the study to make sure that it is the proper treatment for you.
  • We are trying to understand what causes bipolar disorder and how medications treat bipolar depression. Particularly, we are looking at the importance of inflammation in the process. If you participate, you will have genetic testing and three different brain scans (one MRI and two PET scans). You will also receive an experimental medication for your depression named N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). Please contact us if you are interested in participating.
  • This research study uses brain imaging to explore the biological causes of depression and suicidal behavior. The investigators hope to develop a better understanding of how people who attempt suicide differ from those who don't in order to improve prevention. Participation includes brain imaging scans (MRI and PET), neuropsychological tasks and clinical assessment. Eligible individuals will be compensated up to $475.
  • This research study uses brain imaging to explore the biological causes of major depression and why some people feel suicidal or may act on such thoughts. The investigators hope to develop a better understanding of how people who feel depressed and suicidal cope with their feelings to improve treatment and prevention. Individuals may qualify if they have depression with or without suicidal thoughts or any history of suicide attempts. Participation involves a detailed diagnostic set of interviews, brain imaging scans (MRI and PET) and neuropsychological tasks.
  • The purpose of this study is to examine the use of a new portable brain imaging device to study a measure of brain activity, and to develop optimal methods for analyzing the data from this device. After baseline assessments including clinical interview, physical exam, and blood tests, participants will undergo 3 brain scans on separate days: two Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans, each lasting one hour, using different PET cameras, to measure metabolic activity in the brain, and one Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan, to obtain information about brain structure.
  • Principal Investigator

    Jeffrey M. Miller, MD
    The goal of this study is to examine how effective and well-tolerated a possible new treatment for individuals who injure themselves frequently will be. We are studying a minimal-risk form of electrical brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS. Previous studies using tDCS have shown that it is helpful in treating conditions like depression and chronic pain. tDCS is administered using two small electrodes that are applied to the scalp. A low current is applied to the electrodes using a battery-operated device.
  • The goal of this study is to examine how effective and well-tolerated a possible new treatment for individuals who injure themselves frequently will be. We are studying a minimal-risk form of electrical brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS. Previous studies using tDCS have shown that it is helpful in treating conditions like depression and chronic pain. tDCS is administered using two small electrodes that are applied to the scalp. A low current is applied to the electrodes using a battery-operated device.
  • The goal of this study is to examine how effective and well-tolerated a possible new treatment for individuals who injure themselves frequently will be. We are studying a minimal-risk form of electrical brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS. Previous studies using tDCS have shown that it is helpful in treating conditions like depression and chronic pain. tDCS is administered using two small electrodes that are applied to the scalp. A low current is applied to the electrodes using a battery-operated device.
  • This study conducts behavioral tasks to explore the biological causes of depression and suicidal behavior. We hope to develop a better understanding of how people who feel depressed and suicidal cope with their feelings so we can improve treatment and prevention. Participants can have depression with or without a suicidal thoughts or any history of suicide attempts. Participation involves clinical assessments, a week-long phone survey, a stress test and computer games.
  • This study conducts behavioral tasks to explore the biological causes of depression and suicidal behavior. We hope to develop a better understanding of how people who attempt suicide differ from those who do not in order to improve prevention. Participation includes clinical assessments,a week-long phone survey, a stress test and a computer game. Eligible individuals will be compensated up to $125.