Are you the parent of a child aged 6-17 who has bipolar disorder and another child aged 10-15 who has not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Your child without bipolar disorder may be able to participate in a research study to help find out if four weeks of regular mindfulness practice can have an impact on brain function and mood. Compensation provided.
Bipolar disorder is an illness that causes extreme mood changes from manic episodes of very high energy to extreme lows of depression. Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, which means that children with a parent or sibling who has bipolar disorder are more likely to develop the disorder than those who do not.
The purpose of this study is to learn more about the relationship between brain function and the risk for bipolar disorder, and to find out if four weeks of regular mindfulness practice can change brain function and mood symptoms in children at risk for developing bipolar disorder. Mindfulness teaches people to be more aware and accepting of their thoughts and feelings in the present moment and may help people respond better to stress and emotions.
COULD THIS STUDY BE RIGHT FOR YOUR CHILD?
- Ages 10-15
- Child aged 10-15 has a sibling aged 6-17 who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder
- Child aged 10-15 is able and willing to undergo MRI scanning (no braces or other metal in their body, not claustrophobic, and has never had head trauma with loss of consciousness)
- Child aged 10-15 is NOT diagnosed of any of the following: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or autism spectrum disorder
- Child 10-15 year old has daily access to a smart phone or tablet
- Child aged 10-15 has NOT already participated in the BREATHE study or the BEAM study
WHAT PARTICIPANTS CAN EXPECT
Participation involves psychiatric assessments, questionnaires, and MRI brain scans. Participants will also be asked to use the “Smiling Mind” mindfulness app for at least five minutes per day for four weeks and to take part in a video chat. After the use of the app for four weeks, your child will be asked to have an additional MRI. During a two-month follow-up appointment, you and your child will complete additional questionnaires.
IRB:STUDY19100162G - Brain Regulation of Emotion and Thoughts
MEET THE RESEARCHER
Danella M. Hafeman, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Hafeman’s research focuses on youth with and at-risk for bipolar disorder. She is interested in understanding clinical and neural mechanisms of risk and resilience, with the goal of eventually preventing mood disorders in these youth. Clinically, she works as a child psychiatrist in the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Services clinic, where she evaluates and treats youth with and at-risk for bipolar disorder.
MEET THE COORDINATOR
Jamie A. Feldman, BA, is the Research Coordinator for Dr. Hafeman’s studies at the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Services clinic. She received her BA in Psychology from Dickinson College. She has a background in clinical psychology as well as experience working with children and families across multiple settings.