Brain Imaging Studies

Brain imaging, through the use of MRI, MEG, or EEG machines, has proven invaluable within the field of psychiatric research. Many of our studies incorporate this technology to further our understanding of how the human brain functions.

COBRE: A Multimodal Imaging Study (HRRC#: 07-325)

The Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) examines the neural mechanisms of schizophrenia by integrating multiple neuroimaging methods with psychiatric, neuropsychological testing and genetic testing. Participants receive multiple brain scans throughout the course of this study and are compensated for their time. The Principal Investigators (PIs) for this study are Vince Calhoun, Ph.D., and Juan Bustillo, M.D.

Participants must:

  • be 18 years of age and older
  • have a diagnosis of schizophrenia and be stable on prescribed medications

Participants cannot:

  • have a history of neurological disorder, mental retardation, or severe head trauma
  • have a current diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence
  • be currently treated with mood stabilizing medications
Glutamate R01 (HRRC#: 09-444)

This study measures the level of a specific brain chemical and how it relates to brain functioning in individuals with schizophrenia compared to healthy controls. Participants receive one brain scan and cognitive testing. Participants are compensated for their time. The study PI is Juan Bustillo, M.D.

Participants must:

  • be between the ages of 18 and 65
  • have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform
  • be able to pass MRI safety requirements (absence of metal implants, pacemakers, etc.)

Participants cannot:

  • have a history of neurological disorder, mental retardation, or severe head trauma
  • have a current diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence
  • be currently treated with mood stabilizing medications
MOPS (HRRC#: 09-555)

This study uses imaging techniques to investigate the neural networks in the brains of people with schizophrenia. Participants receive one brain scan and cognitive testing. Participants are compensated for their time. The study PI is Chris Abbott, M.D.

Participants must:

  • be at least 40 years of age
  • have a diagnosis of schizophrenia
  • be able to pass MRI safety requirements (absence of metal implants, pacemakers, etc.)

Participants cannot:

  • have a history of neurological disorder, mental retardation, or severe head trauma
  • have a current diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence
Sensory Gating and Dual Diagnosis (SCAN) (HRRC#: 06-422)

This study investigates how the brain responds to sensory stimuli and where in the brain these responses occur in people with different medical conditions. Specifically it looks at brain activity in people who have been diagnosed and treated for substance abuse (either alcohol or drugs) and/or schizophrenia, and people who have not been diagnosed with either schizophrenia or alcohol/substance abuse. There are three groups in which a person can potentially be placed. The study PI is Robert Thoma, Ph.D.

Participants must:

  • be between the ages of 21 and 45 years
  • have diagnosis of schizophrenia
  • have a history of alcohol use or currently use alcohol
  • be fluent in English

Participants cannot:

  • have a history of head injury or other neurological disorder
  • have a current or past history of drug dependence
  • have significant extrapyramidal symptoms (tremors, akathisia) or tardive dyskinesia
Neurodynamics of Auditory Hallucinations in Schizophrenia (HRRC# 11-636)

This study investigates neural networks underlying auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia through MRI and MEG brain scans. It looks at brain activity in people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and who have active auditory hallucinations. There are two groups in which a person could potentially be placed.  The study PI is Robert Thoma, Ph.D. 

Participants must:

  • be between the ages of 18 and 65
  • have diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
  • be treated with one of the following atypical antipsychotic medications: olanzapine, risperidone, or ziprasidone
  • have not experienced symptoms consistent with mental illness

Participants cannot:

  • have past or current diagnosis of neurological disorder
  • have history of head trauma (loss of consciousness > 5 minutes)
  • have diagnosis of active substance dependence or abuse (except for nicotine)
  • have mental retardation
  • have family history of a psychotic disorder in an first degree relative
  • have no more than 14 years of education
  • be currently pregnant
Schizophrenia Gating Deficit Study: Extending the Deficit (HRRC # 08-199)

This study examines how sounds are processed in people diagnosed with schizophrenia compared to their unaffected relatives and healthy controls. The ultimate goal is to determine where in the brain these sounds are processed and establish differences among the three groups mentioned above. Neuroimaging information will be collected with Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Electroenecephalography (EEG), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Participants will also be administered psychiatric rating scales and neuropsychological testing, and a blood sample will be obtained for genetic testing. Participation takes about 10 hours over three or four study visits. The study PI is José Cañive, M.D. 

Participants must:

  • be between the age of 18 and 65
  • speak English
  • have or meet diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder (may also have a diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorders)
  • have continuous treatment with antipsychotic medication for at least 3 months

Participants cannot:

  • have a history of amphetamine, cocaine, or marijuana dependence in the last 5 years
  • have a history of alcohol or other substance abuse or dependence in the 3 months prior to study entry
  • have a history of head injury with loss of consciousness for 5 minutes
  • be medicated with anticonvulsants
  • have been hospitalized in the last 3 months