Current Projects

We run a number of research studies and clinical trials aimed at advancing understanding of bipolar disorder and its treatments. Listed below are a selection of our ongoing research projects with helpful information for those interested in participating. To participate in or learn more about these studies and others at at the Dauten Family Center, call (617) 642-2076.


MoodNetwork

MoodNetwork is a new kind of research study focused on collaboration between people who live with mood disorders, researchers, and clinicians. The goal of MoodNetwork is to actively engage people with mood disorders and their friends and family to improve the health and well-being of individuals with mood disorders. MoodNetwork participants can share their ideas and experiences with fellow participants on our online forums and blogs as well as use online tools to track how they are feeling. To sign up and to find out more information, please visit www.moodnetwork.org. If you have questions, please email moodnetwork@partners.org or call (617) 643-2076.

Time requirements: It takes approximately 5 minutes to sign up. Participants can do as little or as much as they like once registered.

Benefit to participants: Participants gain access to tools to monitor their symptoms and well-being, current research studies only available to MoodNetwork participants, and resources. Participants are also able to interact with a community of individuals with mood disorders through forums and blogs.

Restrictions: Participants must be at least 18 years old to join MoodNetwork.




Healthy Mind Healthy You study

The Healthy Mind Healthy You research study investigates how a standard, 8-session, online mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program will reduce stress and increase well-being compared to a briefer, 3-session mindfulness intervention. Mindfulness involves the skill of paying attention to the present moment. It has its roots in ancient traditions and is believed to increase health, well-being, and quality of life. To learn more about this study, please call (617) 643-2076.

Time requirements: It will take 20 weeks to complete the entire study. No visits occur at MGH. This study is completed online only.

Benefit to participants: Online mindfulness-based treatment provided at no cost.

Restrictions: Participants must be at least 10 years old. For more information about eligibility, please call (617) 643-2076.




Minocycline study

This research study involves adding an FDA approved antibiotic called minocycline, an FDA approved mucolytic agent called n-acetylcysteine, or both to mood stabilizing treatment for bipolar depression. Participants are randomly assigned to one of four groups: active minocycline group, active n-acetylcysteine group, active minocycline and n-acetylcysteine group, or placebo group. There is a 1 in 4 chance of being assigned to each group, and neither participants nor the study doctor can choose the study group. The goal of the research study is to test the effectiveness of widely available and low cost medications to treat bipolar depression. We want to know if this medication, when added to treatment as usual, will improve depressive symptoms and quality of life. To learn more about this research study, please call (617) 643-2076.

Time requirements: This research study involves 5 study visits over 8-weeks at MGH.

Benefit to participants: Participants receive the study medication at no cost, pharmacotherapy monitoring throughout the study at no cost, and compensation up to $300. However, participants may not benefit from taking part in this research study. If participants receive minocycline, it is possible that the participant’s mood symptoms will improve while taking it. If participants receive n-acetylcysteine, it is possible that the participant’s mood symptoms will improve while taking it. Others with bipolar disorder may benefit in the future from what we learn in this study.

Restrictions: Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 65 and taking an FDA approved anti-manic medication. For more information about eligibility for this research study, please call (617) 643-2076.




Preconception and pregnancy study

This research study aims to evaluate a lifestyle intervention to help women with a history of depression who are pregnant or trying to conceive learn to exercise, eat well, and live a healthy lifestyle. This treatment program consists of 10 individual sessions with a trained clinician at no cost to participants. Each treatment session is approximately 45 minutes and takes place at MGH. To learn more about this research study, please call (617) 643-2076.

Time requirements: This research study involves an initial screening visit, which takes up to 2 hours to complete, and 10 weekly study visits. Eight of the weekly visits will take 45 minutes. Two of the weekly visits will take up to 90 minutes, 45 minutes for the treatment session and about 45 minutes for assessments. Total study duration is 11 weeks.

Benefit to participants: Lifestyle intervention treatment provided at no cost. However, there may be no direct benefit to participants from taking part in this research study.

Restrictions: Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 45. For more information about eligibility for this research study, please call (617) 643-2076.




Neural correlates of rumination and self-procession study

This research study examines brain function associated with thinking about certain phrases and making judgments about oneself by using a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI is a technique for making images (pictures) of the brain. It uses magnetic fields and radio waves, and is not harmful. fMRI is a very fast MRI technique that allows the investigators to evaluate changes in blood flow to various areas of the brain. To learn more about this study, call (617) 643-2076.

Time requirements: This study involves a 1 hour screen visit and a 1.5 hour fMRI scanning visit that occur at MGH. These visits are typically between 2 to 4 weeks apart.

Payment for participation: Participants are compensated $100 for completing the study.

Restrictions: Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 64 as well as be right-handed. For more information about eligibility, call (617) 643-2076.




Near-infrared laser study

This research study investigates the use of Transcranial LED Therapy (TLT) to treat bipolar depression. TLT involves a non-invasive and invisible beam of near-infrared light that increases energy metabolism in the brain, and some of this increased brain activity may help people with depression. This treatment is not the same as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

To learn more about this study, call (617) 643-2076.

Time requirements: This study involves a 3-hour initial visit, twelve 30-minute visits to MGH and a 3-hour follow-up visit. There is also the potential that you will have two 60 minute functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans. The total duration of the study is 6 weeks.

Payment for participation: You can receive up to $250 compensation for completion of all treatment visits.

Restrictions: Participants must be between 18 and 75 years of age with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. For more information about eligibility, call (617) 643-2076.