Biological Basis of Psychiatric Disorders

Participate in Pediatric Research

If you are interested in participating in a research study, please call 444-8945 for more information.

Investigators are employing the newest technology to conduct cutting-edge research into the genetic and neurobiological basis of pediatric disorders and developmental problems, in the following areas:

Neuroimaging, Bipolar Disorder, and Mood Disorders

Current Studies

Bio-behavioral Markers of Pediatric Psychopathology
Currently enrolling children and adolescents 7 to 17 years old with either bipolar disorder, ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or typically-developing healthy controls.
Principal Investigator: Daniel Dickstein, MD

Bio-behavioral Markers of Affect Regulation in Teen Suicide Attempters vs. Non-Suicidal Self-Injurers.
Currently enrolling children and adolescents 13 to 17 years old with typically-developing healthy controls.
Principal Investigator: Daniel Dickstein, MD

Bio-behavioral Markers of Bipolar Conversion
Currently enrolling healthy control young adults 18 to 25 years old. This study (<6 hours) involves interviews, IQ tests, special computer games, genetic sample, and MRI brain scan.For all studies, participants are compensated for their time.  For those studies involving MRI brain scans, participants receive copies of some of the pictures on a CD.
Principal Investigator: Daniel Dickstein, MD

More Information

Learn more about the Pedi-MIND Program

Sleep and Chronobiology

The Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory studies the sleep habits of children, adolescents and young adults and monitors how each group is affected by sleepiness.

The laboratory provides training in sleep research methodology at all levels, from undergraduate training to postdoctoral research fellowships.

Current Studies

Intrinsic Circadian Period: Development, Delayed Phase, and Genetic Associations
Principal Investigator: Mary Carskadon, PhD

Prospective Study of Depressed Mood: Short Sleep and Serotonergic Genes
Principal Investigator: Mary Carskadon, PhD

Increasing Sleep Duration: A Novel Approach to Weight Control
Co-Principal Investigator: Mary Carskadon, PhD

More Information

Learn more about the Bradley Hospital Sleep Research Laboratory 

Response to Traumatic and Chronic Stress

Current Studies

Psychogenetic Factors in Project REACH
This study looks at response to trauma and chronic stress.
Investigator: Nicole Nugent, PhD

Autism and Developmental Disorders

This line of research investigates a range of issues related to understanding the social dysfunction in autism.

Projects include autism genetic studies, studies of how young children respond to social events and develop social communication skills, how individuals with autism respond to and recognize faces and emotional information, and functional neuroimaging studies of how individuals respond to social information at the level of brain activity.

These studies represent collaborations among researchers at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Bradley Hospital, Hasbro Children's Hospital, the Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk and on-campus researchers at Brown University.

Current Studies

Autism Fetal Behavior Study
This study is open to pregnant mothers who have an older child with autism or a family history of autism.
Principal Investigator: Stephen Sheinkopf, PhD

Autism Cry Home Videotape Study
This study studies the sounds that children with autism made when infants by use of home videotapes.
Principal Investigator: Stephen Sheinkopf, PhD  

The Rhode Island Multi-site Genetics Study For Autism and Related Disorders.
The Developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program (DDGRP) is investigating genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying autism and intellectual disability. We use genome-wide strategies to identify patterns in genes and chromosomes that may be associated with an autism diagnosis.

The long-term goal of this research is to improve genetic diagnosis and treatments, with the hope of improving outcomes for affected individuals.

We are inviting families to participate if there is at least one member affected by autism, or a related condition. Participation in the study consists of a one-time interview during which we go over the individual's medical and developmental history, as well as construct a family tree. We may also ask children to participate in a short evaluation. Finally, we will ask all family members in attendance to provide a DNA sample.

By participating in the study, you can help future families like your own who are affected by autism, and contribute to approaches to diagnosis and treatment of autism in general. Email Eric Morrow, MD, PhD for more information.

More Information

Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART)
Q&A with Lindsay Oberman, PhD, Director of the Neuroplasticity and Autism Spectrum Disorder Program at Bradley Hospital

Genetics

Current Studies

Genetic Variation and Marijuana's Pharmacologic and Cue-Elicited Effects
The primary goal of this pilot research is to investigate variability in marijuana's acute and cue-elicited effects associated with empirically-chosen polymorphisms in the CNR1 and FAAH genes. The long-term objective of this research is to identify genetic variation underlying individual differences in marijuana effects that may account for individual differences in susceptibility to marijuana dependence. Greater understanding of these mechanisms can inform genetically targeted pharmacotherapeutic approaches for treating cannabis dependence.
Co-Investigator: Valerie Knopik, PhD

Prenatal Tobacco Exposure: Effects on Neuropsychological Outcomes and ADHD
The goal of this project is to critically investigate prenatal environmental influences on child attention problems and associated learning and cognitive deficits. This sampling design provides the best possible methodological control for many stable maternal and familial confounding factors (e.g., heritable and sociodemographic characteristics of the mother that predict increased probability of maternal smoking during pregnancy) as well as differences between mothers who do and do not smoke during pregnancy, and their partners, that might otherwise artifactually create, or alternatively mask, an association between smoking during pregnancy and child outcomes.  Such a design will therefore provide opportunities to determine less biased effect sizes while also allowing us to investigate (on a preliminary basis) the possible contribution of paternal or other second-hand smoke exposure during the pre-, peri- and postnatal periods to offspring outcome. 
Principal Investigator: Valerie Knopik, PhD 

The Rhode Island Multi-site Genetics Study For Autism and Related Disorders
The Developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program (DDGRP) is investigating genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying autism and intellectual disability. We use genome-wide strategies to identify patterns in genes and chromosomes that may be associated with an autism diagnosis.

The long-term goal of this research is to improve genetic diagnosis and treatments, with the hope of improving outcomes for affected individuals.

We are inviting families to participate if there is at least one member affected by autism, or a related condition. Participation in the study consists of a one-time interview during which we go over the individual's medical and developmental history, as well as construct a family tree. We may also ask children to participate in a short evaluation. Finally, we will ask all family members in attendance to provide a DNA sample.

By participating in the study, you can help future families like your own who are affected by autism, and contribute to approaches to diagnosis and treatment of autism in general. Email Eric Morrow, MD, PhD for more information.

More Information

More about the developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program (DDGRP)

More about the bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center