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Yale Pediatric Depression Lab

Ongoing clinical research studies:

Reducing Adolescent Suicide Risk in Treatment-Resistant Depression

This study examines the safety, efficacy, response predictors, and post treatment trajectory of adolescents (13–17 years old) with treatment-resistant depression and high suicide risk following a conservative repeat dosing Ketamine infusion paradigm compared to an active control, Midazolam. Those who are randomized to Midazolam and remain ill have the option to cross-over to Ketamine in the open phase. All participants will be followed closely for 4 months post-treatment and treated with standard of care depression treatment (medication management and cognitive behavioral therapy). Brain-based predictors of anti-suicidal responses will be assessed via connectome predictive modeling and examining functional brain circuits via fMRI before and after treatment.

To pre-qualify for this study, your child must:

  • Be 13 to 17 years of age
  • Be primarily suffering from Major Depressive Disorder
  • Have not achieved adequate symptom relief with at least 1 antidepressant trial
  • Have experienced suicidal ideation within the past 4 months that required an escalation of care (emergency room, inpatient hospitalization, intensive outpatient program (IOP), partial hospitalization program (PHP))
Seltorexant as Adjunctive Therapy to Antidepressants in Adolescents With Major Depressive Disorder Who Have an Inadequate Response to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) and Psychotherapy

Too many adolescents continue to struggle with depression, despite treatment. This study is evaluating the safety and effects of an investigational medication for adolescents who have been diagnosed with MDD and have not responded well to their current antidepressant. The investigational medication has been studied in more than 1,000 adult patients and healthy volunteers, but it has not been studied in adolescents. The investigational medication is not approved to treat MDD, and it is only available to adolescents with MDD in research studies like this one.

To pre-qualify for this study, your child must:

  • Be 12 to 17 years of age
  • Be primarily suffering from Major Depressive Disorder
  • Have not achieved adequate symptom relief with at least 1 but no more than 2 antidepressant trials during the current depressive episode
  • Have had at least 6 sessions of psychotherapy in the current depressive episode

All study-required visits, tests, and study medication will be provided at no cost. In addition, reimbursement for study-required travel may be available.

To learn more about either study, contact Brooke Rivera, Clinical Coordinator, Yale Pediatric Depression Lab via email at

Teen Brain and Behavior Study

The Cho Lab aims to improve our understanding of how changes in the brain lead to psychiatric illness in childhood and adolescence. We are running a new research project that examines how motivation and cognition develop in teenagers with depression or schizophrenia.

This study involves typically developing teenagers, teenagers with depression, and teenagers with schizophrenia or psychosis who are 13-17 years old and right-handed. In this study, teens will complete clinical assessments and surveys, perform cognitive and IQ tests and complete MRI scans. An MRI is a common way to study the brain in children and teens. An MRI uses a large magnet to take pictures of the brain and does not involve radiation. During the scan, our research team will be using functional MRI (fMRI), which allows us to see which brain regions are active during certain tasks.

The teenage years are a time of significant physical, cognitive and socio-emotional growth. In order for us to see how teenage brains change and develop over time, the study has a few visits across 18 months. Teens are compensated for their time in the study and can earn up to $650 across the entire study.

In order to participate, teens should be between 13-17 y/o, be right-handed, be able to have an MRI scan (no metal in the body, no braces and no claustrophobia), should not have diagnoses of ADHD or PTSD, and should have no major medical conditions.

There will be a formal in-depth screening process to ensure each participant is deemed eligible and safe for all study procedures.

For further questions or to express interest in participating, interested people may email the Cho Lab: Visit the Cho Lab Website.