Understanding brain function is the key to prevention and recovery of brain disorders. Your participation in this study may help us to learn more about how certain kinds of psychiatric illnesses begin, how to identify those most at risk and in need of early treatment, how psychosis progresses, and about the relationship between psychosis and brain functioning. This is not a treatment study. If you fall into one of the 4 categories listed below, we invite you to consider participation in this important study by calling 617-998-5016 or e-mailing info@bostoncidar.org.

1. Clinical Risk:

Clinical risk refers to people who show particular kinds of psychiatric symptoms involving early changes in thinking, perception, mood and/or everyday functioning. Individuals between the ages of 13-35 with new difficulties in attention/ concentration, mood (depression or anxiety), school or work, friendships and other relationships (e.g., becoming less social), and/or personal beliefs or thoughts may be eligible to participate.

2. Early Phase:

The early phase or "first episode" of schizophrenia is a time when people develop a psychotic episode, which may include psychiatric symptoms such as hallucinations and false beliefs (delusions), difficulty concentrating, and withdrawal from friends or changes in your usual feelings about people. Changes in mood, in particular anxiety and depression, may occur. There may be difficulty with usual daily activities such as school, work, and hygiene. If you or someone you know is between the ages of 13-45 and has experienced some of these symptoms or difficulties, please contact us regarding participating in this part of the study.

3. Individuals Experiencing Schizophrenia for More than 5 Years:

We are conducting this part of the study with individuals between the ages of 25-55 who have experienced schizophrenia symptoms for more than 5 years to assess changes that may have occurred prior to and since the beginning of the illness. One assessment will be conducted over approximately 4 to 5 visits. Participation entails interviews to discuss your history and possible changes in your thinking, interviews with a family member (if available) to understand your family history, paper and pencil tests of your thinking and memory, a blood draw for genetic testing another for studying hormone levels, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of your brain, and an electroencephalogram (EEG) of your brain. Individuals will be paid for each study-related task that they participate in, and can earn approximately $250, depending on the parts of the study they participate in. Individuals who are experiencing schizophrenia for 5 years or more are invited to consider participation in the study. Referrals to the study can be made by family physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists, mental health professionals, family members or individuals themselves using the contact information above.

4. Healthy Volunteers:

The study compares research outcomes across the spectrum of individuals with clinical risk, early phase and established schizophrenia, as well as healthy volunteers. Individuals between the ages of 13-55 who are not currently experiencing any serious psychological difficulties or physical illness, who have never been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons or treated with anti-psychotic medication, and do not have a family member with psychosis, are invited to consider participation in the study. Individuals will be paid for each study-related task that they participate in, and can earn up to $300 for the first set of assessments. Please contact us for more information.

For additional information or to download brochures, please visit Boston CIDAR Study