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Participate in our Research

What to expect in a study

This research work can only progress if we have volunteers, and we welcome you to inquire about our studies. If you choose to participate in a study, your involvement would require a couple of different activities. First, we will do a phone interview with questions about your demographics and medical history.  This information will be collected to assess if you meet the inclusion criteria and then we will answer any questions you may have for a particular study. Once we have confirmed your eligibility, we schedule an in-person screening day.

During the screening visit, we go over a research consent and perform a physical exam with history, blood draw, electrocardiogram (ECG) and urine analysis. Cognitive and neuropsychiatric tests/ questionnaires are also often done on this day.

During the imaging sessions, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan will be done that lasts between 30-60 minutes and a PET scan(s) that may last up to 120 minutes. PET scans involve intravenous (IV) lines and in some cases arterial lines. During the PET scan, a molecule that binds to a certain receptor of interest, called a radiotracer, is given. It contains a small amount of a radiation which allows the PET camera to detect the signal. The amount of radiation from a PET scan is usually less than what you would receive from a CT scan and is below the dose guidelines established by the FDA and monitored by the Yale University Radioactive Drug Research Committee for research subjects. All studies have compensation for participation.

Current studies

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Essential tremor
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Opioid receptors in African-Americans

Starting soon:

  • Synaptic density in experienced meditators
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Next generation GABA PET Tracer
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis