Many people think that participating in a research study means they will get better treatment for their illness. While this may be true, it’s important to remember that a research study is conducted for research purposes—it does not ensure better or safer treatment. Taking part in a study does not guarantee individual benefits to the participant in the form of newer or safer treatment. The contribution made participating in a research study is to science first and to the patient second.

DBSA, its advisors, and its consultants do not endorse or recommend the use of any specific treatment or medication. For advice about specific treatment or medication, patients should consult their physicians and/or mental health professionals.

COVID-19 and daily routines: The experience of people with mood disorders

Many governments have instituted social distancing and social isolation measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This has caused many people to experience changes in their normal and structured social routines of work, study, and other lifestyle activities. We want to understand the challenges individuals diagnosed with mood disorders face, particularly with respect to their social rhythms during a time of restricted socializing and modified daily routines.

 A group of researchers led by Professor Greg Murray of Swinburne University of Technology is seeking study participants who:

  • Have received a diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder
  • Are age 18-65
  • Are fluent in English

Participation involves completing a brief online survey (20-30 minutes). You will be asked some basic information about yourself, some questions about your current mood symptoms, stress, social rhythmicity and sleep as well as your experiences around evidence-based psychological therapies.


If you would like more information about the project, please contact 

Learn more about participating in the study

Modeling Negative Mood Systems (MNMS)

We are currently recruiting men and women between the ages of 18-30 for our study titled Modeling Negative Mood Systems (MNMS). Participants must have diagnosed or self-described experience with Depression, Depression spectrum illnesses, Bipolar Disorder, or subthreshold mood disorder, and must currently be well or in the remitted, or partially remitted state of the illness. All participants will be in good physical health and either be (a) unmedicated or (b) on stable antidepressant or mood stabilizer treatments for 30 days.

MNMS is a purely observational study not involving any therapy or investigational drugs. MNMS involves a 30 minute clinical interview and a brain scan using magnetic resonance imaging lasting 1 hour, and a one hour phone interview about mental health over the previous year. Compensation is $75 cash the day of the scan and a $40 check for the phone interview. If the MNMS study sounds like something you are interested in participating in, please email or call (312) 503-1982 to follow-up with a phone screen to determine your eligibility.

Ashley Heywood

Deadline for Enrollment: 6/30/19


Development of a Targeted Patient Portal Intervention to Improve Depression Treatment Adherence, Satisfaction, and Outcomes

Do you have online access to information about your healthcare and visits to your healthcare provider? If you are 18 years or older and have sought counseling or treatment for depression symptoms, we invite you to participate in a study. The purpose of this study is to learn about patient’s experiences with and feelings about having access to their medical health information online.

Many hospitals and clinics offer their patients the opportunity to view their health information online through a secure website, also called a patient portal. Often, these portals also give patients the ability to send a secure message their healthcare providers, schedule appointments and renew prescriptions. Some examples are MyChart, RelayHealth, My Healthevet and HealtheLife.

If you agree to participate, we would like you to complete an online survey, asking about your experience using patient portals and accessing your mental health treatment information online. You are free to skip any questions that you prefer not to answer. The survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes.

If interested, please click here to learn more and complete the survey:


Lindsey Fuhrmeister
(319) 353-1020

Deadline for Enrollment: 6/30/19

Major Depressive Disorder Clinical Trial

If you have major depressive disorder (MDD) and are in a current depressive episode, we invite you to learn about a research study of an investigational drug that is taken with your current antidepressant medication. In this study, researchers will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the investigational drug as an add-on therapy to your current antidepressant medication. If you  meet the requirements listed below, follow the screening link to get more information about a clinical trial in your area.

To pre-qualify for this study you must:

  • Be 18 to 65 years of age
  • Have been diagnosed with recurrent MDD
  • Be in a current major depressive episode for at least the last 8 weeks
  • Unsatisfactory improvement in your symptoms of depression with your current treatment

Begin Screening

Deadline for Enrollment:  August 2019

Augmentation versus Switch: Comparative Effectiveness Research Trial for Antidepressant Incomplete and Non-Responders with Treatment Resistant Depression (ASCERTAIN-TRD) (Houston, Texas)

Baylor College of Medicine and Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center are conducting a clinical trial to study the comparative effectiveness of three FDA-approved noninvasive treatment strategies for individuals suffering from treatment resistant depression. Patients will receive either repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in conjunction with their current antidepressant medications or an alternative noninvasive treatment. The study is sponsored by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and is being conducted at several sites nationwide.

Individuals between the ages of 18-80 and who have not responded to at least two antidepressant medications are eligible for screening. Compensation will be provided for time and travel.

To see if you qualify, please call (713) 689-9856 or email

All inquiries are confidential.

Disallowed medications: atypical antipsychotics (aripiprazole, quetiapine, lurasidone, etc.); escitalopram

There is no placebo group. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three FDA approved treatments: Effexor, Abilify augmentation, or rTMS therapy.


Lorna Hirsch

Deadline for Enrollment: 2021

Treatment Resistant Depression Study – ECT Versus Ketamine (Houston, Texas)

Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center are conducting a clinical trial in individuals between the ages of 21-75 to study the comparative effectiveness of ECT versus Ketamine in patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression. The study is sponsored by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and is being conducted at several sites nationwide.

If eligible, participants will receive the study treatments and all study-related care at no cost. Compensation will also be provided for time and travel. All inquiries are confidential.

Participants will be asked to continue on all current treatments throughout the course of the study.

There is no placebo group. Patients will be assigned to either ketamine or ECT, at a 1:1 ratio.


Sidra Iqbal

Deadline for Enrollment: 2020

Familial Early-Onset Suicide Attempt Biomarkers with PET/MRI (New York, NY)

Depression affects 15 million Americans each year. More than 44,000 Americans die by suicide each year. Depression and suicidal behavior risk 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 by brain imaging.

A research study is being conduced at Columbia University Medical Center that aims to examine brain function in adults who have a parent or sibling who has suffered from depression and made a suicide attempt. You may be eligible if you are between the ages of 25 and 60 years old and have lost a first degree relative to suicide.

The goal of the study is to detect who is at risk of developing depression and who is not going to develop depression so we can prevent these problems before they occur. Your participation could help researchers better understand the causes of suicidal behavior and depression and help others who suffer from depression in the future.

Procedures include brain imaging (MRI and PET), neuropsychological testing and a detailed clinical assessment. The compensation for participating is up to $600.

Patients are expected to be medication free for brain scans.

Participants will complete research procedures and then may start antidepressants upon completion of research procedures if they’d like. They are offered 6 months of open medication treatment through our clinic at no cost.


Allison Metts

Deadline for Enrollment: April 2020

Mechanism of Antidepressant-Related Dysfunctional Arousal in High-Risk Youth (Cincinnati, Ohio)

The purpose of this research study is to investigate brain changes in adolescents who are currently experiencing depressive and/or anxiety symptoms and have a family history of bipolar disorder.  Participants will be randomized to escitalopram and psychotherapy or placebo and psychotherapy for 16-week treatment.

Participants will receive compensation for their transportation and/or time for the study visits. All study visits, tests, procedures and medication will be provided at no cost to participants. No other antidepressant use is permitted. Adolescents 12 to 17 years of age who are experiencing depressive and/or anxiety symptoms or have been diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety and have a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with bipolar I disorder may be eligible to participate.


Kaitlyn Bruns

Deadline for Enrollment: 6/1/2020

Depression Research Study (Ann Arbor)

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between emotion and memory. The goal of this study is to try to understand how the brain processes information in those with Major Depressive Disorder by understanding how interference is resolved in perceptual, memory, and motor processes. This, in turn, may help us understand ruminative processes among depressed individuals.

In this study, participants will first be asked to undergo a clinical diagnostic interview with a trained clinician, graduate student, post docs, or other trained personnel who have undergone formal training in administering the interview. During that time we will ask you questions about your emotional and physical well-being. This interview, which will last approximately 1-2 hours, will help determine if participants are eligible to continue in the study. This session pays $20.00 an hour.

If eligible, participants will be invited back to participate in various studies, which include performing computer-based tasks. Participants will also be asked to complete several questionnaires pertaining to their moods and emotions. This session pays $20.00 an hour as well.


Phone: 734-647-6249

Deadline for Enrollment: OPEN

Mothers with Depression Needed

Are you a mother with a daughter who is 9-14 years old? Have you had episodes of depression during your daughter’s lifetime?

If so, you may be eligible to participate in a study of how moms and their daughters think and process emotional information.

The study takes place in the Psychology Department at Stanford University. You and your daughter would participate in interviews, fill out questionnaires, do computer tasks, have discussions with each other, and possibly be eligible for a brain scan. Involvement in the study requires a time-commitment of 3-10 hours over the course of one to three visits. We will schedule the sessions around your availability (daytime, evenings, or weekends are all fine).

Eligible pairs receive $40/hour for their time.

To be eligible for this study:

  • you must have a daughter between the ages of 9 and 14
  • you must have had episodes of depression during your daughter’s lifetime
  • you must be a US citizen or hold a Green Card
  • you must read and speak English fluently
  • you should have no immediate plans to leave the Bay Area

If you would like to receive more information about this study, please email or call (650) 723-0804 to reach the study coordinator, Hannah Burley. Please refer to study #101. For general information about participant rights, contact 1-866-680-2906.

Your performance in all study-related activities, including requests for information will be kept completely confidential.

Deadline for enrollment: OPEN

Sleep and Memory

Sleep and Memory Study

  • Depressed participants needed
  • Males and females over the age of 18
  • No history of head injury causing unconsciousness
  • Able to spend 2 to 4 nights in the lab and keep a fixed sleep schedule
  • Willing to complete interview, questionnaires, and computer tasks
  • Monetary compensation of $75 per lab night


Adrienne McHenry

Depression Research Study

Feeling overwhelmed? sad? depressed? You may be suffering from depression.
Doctors at the University of California Los Angeles are researching a new technology to predict antidepressant effectiveness. Qualifying participants, ages 18-75, will receive antidepressants, study-related exams, tests and clinical consultations – at no cost. Also, monetary compensation may be provided. We conduct numerous studies on depression and enrollment is ongoing.


Lab of Brain, Behavior, and Pharmacology

Deadline: Open

Depression Research Study (Southern California)

A Placebo-Controlled, Add-On (“Natural Supplement”) Study of MSI-195 (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine, SAMe) For Patients With Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) Who Have Had An Inadequate Response to Current Antidepressant Therapy

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of MSI-195 (SAMe) as an add-on treatment to an ongoing antidepressant medication. Qualified participants must be between 21 and 70 years of age and diagnosed with Depression. The duration of study participation is approximately two-to-three months, with up to six clinic visits and three telephone visits. Study-related care is provided at no cost to participants and compensation for travel is available.

Pharmacology Research Institute (PRI) has been conducting research studies since 1975. Our offices are located in Orange County, Long Beach/Los Alamitos and Encino/San Fernando Valley. Please feel free to contact us or visit our website for more information.


Mellissa M. Henry, R.N., M.S.N., N.P.
(888) 774-4673 or (714) 827-3667

Deadline: Open

Deep brain stimulation for TRD

This study, conducted by Dr. Helen Mayberg, is looking a deep brain stimulation for the treatment of patients with treatment resistant depression. We are currently recruiting patients with bipolar type II depression and unipolar depression. For more information please contact us or visit our clinical trials website at:


Megan Filkowski

Deadline: Open

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