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Are you the parent of a child ages 13-18 who is currently depressed? If so, your child may be able to participate in a research study to help find out if an intervention that targets the sleep-wake cycle is a safe and effective approach for improving depression symptoms in teens. The intervention used in this study is not invasive and does not involve medications. Compensation provided.


Many teens and young adults experience depression, a serious mood disorder that causes feelings of intense sadness, lowered energy, lack of interest in activities, academic problems, and withdrawal from others. Standard treatments for depression include antidepressant medications and counseling, but these may take weeks or months to work, or may not work at all. Some studies have shown that blocking a part of sleep that is abnormal in depression can rapidly improve depression symptoms, but this effect is not fully understood. The purpose of this study is to find out if an intervention that targets the sleep-wake cycle is a safe and effective approach for improving depression symptoms in teens and young adults, and to better understand how sleep affects brain systems related to mood. The intervention used in this study is not invasive, does not involve medications, and does not shorten the duration of sleep. Researchers hope their findings will lead to better treatments for people with depression in the future.

  • Parent of child aged 13-18
  • Child is currently depressed
  • Child has no history of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia
  • Child has no serious medical or neurological conditions
  • Child is not taking any psychiatric medications other than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro, or Celexa
  • Child is willing and able to undergo MRI scanning (no non-removable metal in the body, and not claustrophobic)


Participation involves completing an initial assessment to find out if your child is eligible to participate in this study. During this visit, both you and your child will complete interviews and questionnaires about sleep, mood, and medical history. If eligible after this visit, teens will be invited to participate in 3 consecutive overnight visits at the UPMC Sleep and Behavioral Neuroscience Center. These visits typically occur Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from about 8pm to 11am the next morning. During these visits, teens will have their sleep monitored and auditory tones will be played to suppress certain parts of sleep. Teens will also have 2 MRI scans. Both teens and parents will also complete questionnaires. In the month after the final overnight visit, a brief set of forms about mood and sleep will be completed at home by your child, once a week for 4 weeks. These forms can be completed on paper or online.

  STUDY19040072C - Rapid Antidpressant Effects of Selective Slow-Wave Sleep Deprivation for Depressed Youth

  Child Health, Family Health

Age Range
AGE:   18 and up

Duration VISITS:  4 visits

Location LOCATION: 
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC)
Compensation COMPENSATION: 


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Adriane Soehner

Adriane M. Soehner, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Soehner’s research investigates the role of sleep in brain development and psychiatric illness.

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