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Volunteer for Research

The Schizophrenia Center

The ultimate goal of our research in the Schizophrenia Center's research program is better understand the causes and progression of schizophrenia and related disorders. We routinely seek participants to help us in these research projects. The studies listed below are currently actively recruiting participants.


First Episode Psychosis: Longitudinal Characterization of Molecular Biomarker Changes Over the Early Course of Psychotic Disease
Researchers are seeking individuals diagnosed with a psychotic disorder to participate in a research study being done to study the cells of patients with psychotic disorders. Your participation may help improve the treatment of psychotic disorders for patients like you. This study is a longitudinal study over the course of three years (only a few visits required per year): you can earn up to $1740. To be eligible for this study, you must be between 13-35 years of age with a psychotic disorder diagnosis – this may include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and mood disorders. Qualified participants have the option of undergoing: blood draw, skin biopsy, nasal biopsy, lumbar puncture, and two sessions of brain scanning with MRI technology. To learn more, please call Patricia at 443-287-4986 or email at Pgraf2@jhmi.edu (NA_00082086, Principal Investigator: Akira Sawa, MD, PhD)

Cell and MRI Study of Patients with Schizophrenia
Do you have Schizophrenia? Are you between 18-65 years of age? You may be the perfect candidate for our study! Researchers are seeking individuals diagnosed with Schizophrenia to participate in a research study being done to study the cells of patients with schizophrenia. The study takes place over the course of two weeks, during which you can earn a compensation of up to $500! Qualified participants will have the option of undergoing neuropsychological testing with a study team member, a blood draw, a nasal biopsy, and three sessions of brain scanning using MRI technology.To learn more, please call Cecilia Higgs, chiggs@jhmi.edu 443-287-2981. (Principal Investigator: Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., (IRB # NA_00037204)

Using a Novel PET Ligand for Imaging Brains 
Earn up to $350 in only three visits! The purpose of our study is to validate the use of a new technique to image inflammation in brains of patients with recent onset Schizophrenia.  In particular, we aim to image inflammatory activation using Positron Emission Tomography (PET). We are recruiting patients with recent onset Schizophrenia (and in the first five years of the disease). To be eligible for the study, you must be over 18 years old. As a study participant, you will be asked to undergo preliminary tests including: a blood draw, a urine sample, a pregnancy test (if applicable), an EKG test (painless measurement of your heart’s electrical activity), neuropsychological testing and a physical exam. In addition, we will schedule 2 imaging visits, 1 MRI and 1 PET scan visit. Participants will receive compensation of up to $350, paid in segments after completion of each portion of the study. To learn more, please call Dr. Coughlin at 443-287-4701or email at jcoughl2@jhmi.edu. (NA_00023849, Principal Investigator: Martin Pomper, M.D., Ph.D)

An Adaptive, Phase IIb/III, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo- Controlled, Multi-Center Study of the Safety and Efficacy of NaBen® (Sodium Benzoate), a D-Amino Acid Oxidase Inhibitor, as an Add-on Treatment for Schizophrenia in Adolescents
This research study is being conducted by centers across the United States to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of NaBen® (sodium benzoate), compared with placebo, in male and female adolescents, ages 12 to 16 years, with schizophrenia. The research study involves up to seven visits to Kennedy Krieger Institute over ten weeks, each lasting about 2-3 hours. There are no direct medical benefits for participating in this research study. For each completed visit, participants will receive reimbursement of $65.00 for their time and travel expenses.   Please ask a study team member for specifics. All testing is done free of charge. For more information about this research study, please contact the Study Coordinator at (443) 923-3850 or by email at ResearchTrials@kennedykrieger.org Research study Sponsor: SyneuRx International Corp. PI: Robert Findling, M.D., M.B.A.IRB No. – IRB00030540 www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01908192)

A Research Study to determine whether an investigational drug called brexpiprazole is safe and effective to treat symptoms of Schizophrenia and related psychiatric disorders
This research study is being conducted by Kennedy Krieger Institute/centers across the United States to determine whether brexpiprazole is safe and effective in adolescents with schizophrenia or a related psychiatric disorder. If eligible, the participant will visit the Kennedy Krieger Institute up to 9 times over a period of 102 days. Each visit will take between 30 minutes and 2 hours and will include psychological and behavioral testing, medical history, physical examination, blood draws, HIV testing, vital sign, ECG, urine drug screen, and pregnancy testing for females. For each completed visit, participants will receive a reimbursement of $75.00 for their time and travel expenses. Please ask a study team member for specifics. All testing is done free of charge. For more information about this research study, please contact Becky Hinton at (443) 923- 9326 or by email at hinton@kennedykrieger.org Research study Sponsor: Otsuka Pharamaceuticals PI: Robert Findling, M.D., M.B.A.Johns Hopkins Medicine-IRB No. – IRB00039001

A 6-WEEK RANDOMIZED, PARALLEL, DOUBLEBLIND, PLACEBO-CONTROLLED, FIXED-DOSE, MULTICENTER STUDY TO EVALUATE THE EFFICACY AND SAFETY OF LURASIDONE IN ADOLESCENT SUBJECTS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA
This research study is being conducted by centers across the United States to help determine if lurasidone a safe and effective treatment for symptoms associated with acute schizophrenia. Kennedy Krieger Institute is looking for children with acute schizophrenia, ages 13 through 17 years, to participate in this research study. The research study involves up to 10 visits to Kennedy Krieger Institute over 10 weeks, each lasting 5-6 hours. There are no direct medical benefits for participating in this research study.  For each completed visit, participants will receive reimbursement for their time and travel expenses.  Please ask a study team member for specifics.  All testing is done free of charge. For more information about this research study, please contact the Study Coordinator at (443) 923-3850 or by email at ResearchTrials@kennedykrieger.org Research study Sponsor: Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. PI: Robert Findling, M.D., M.B.A. IRB No. – NA_00092723 www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01911429)

See all currently research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences that are currently recruiting volunteers