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Pitt+Me COBY Neuroimaging Study – Healthy Volunteers


Are you a left-handed woman between the ages of 33 and 35 and have NO history of psychiatric disorders? If so, you may be able to participate in a research study to help researchers learn more about how the brain works in young adults with and without bipolar disorder. Participation involves undergoing a full psychiatric evaluation and fMRI scan. Compensation provided.

Bipolar disorder, also called manic depressive disorder, is an illness that causes extreme mood changes. Periods of time when people feel very “up” are called mania, and periods of time when people feel very “down” are called depression. The purpose of this study is to learn more about how the brain works in people with and without bipolar disorder. Researchers hope their findings will lead to a better understanding of the course of bipolar disorder over time.
  • Left-handed women ages 33-35
  • No history of depression, mania, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, or any other psychiatric disorder
  • Have never taken medication for a mental illness
  • Willing and able to undergo fMRI scanning (no history of head injury, no non-removable metal in your body, not pregnant)

Participation involves 2 visits:
  • Visit one is a 3 hour screening visit to be sure you are eligible to participate in the study. Tests and assessments include a psychiatric evaluation, questionnaires, reading, memory, and vision tests, and providing a medical history and medication list.
  • Visit two will involve having an fMRI scan that takes about 3.5-4 hours to complete. An fMRI is a non-invasive brain imaging technique that can identify regions of the brain involved in performing specific tasks (like saying words). fMRI scans are not invasive and do not use radiation. During this visit, participants will also be asked to provide a urine sample to test for drug use and for pregnancy (if female), and to provide a saliva sample to test for any alcohol consumption.

  PRO17100671 - COBY Neuroimaging Comparison Study

  Healthy Volunteer

Age Range
AGE:   33 - 35

Duration VISITS:  2 visits

Location LOCATION: 
Loeffler Building & UPMC Presbyterian - Oakland
Compensation COMPENSATION: 

Up to $175

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Boris Birmaher

Boris Birmaher, MD, is the Endowed Chair in Early Onset Bipolar Disease and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine and serves as the Co-Director of the Psychiatry Research Pathway program. In addition to his extensive research, clinical and training activities, Dr. Birmaher is the Director of the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Spectrum Services Program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC.

A leader in the study and treatment of pediatric mood and anxiety disorders, Dr. Birmaher is a pioneer in describing the predictors, risk factors, course and treatment of childhood-onset bipolar disorder. Throughout his career, he has served as the Principal-, Co-Principal or co-investigator for over 25 federally-sponsored research grants and projects. He has authored or co-authored more than 400 publications, numerous book chapters as well as his own book, New Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar Disorder. Dr. Birmaher has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years including the Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research in 2013 and the Ittleson Award for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2014. Through his research, clinical and mentoring activities, Dr. Birmaher has increased our understanding of the risk factors for mood and anxiety disorders, developed and implemented innovative treatments to improve the lives of patients and their families, and trained the next generation of educators, clinicians and researchers in these disorders.

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