Research

Research [View Image]

Currently Active Studies 

 

IDAS has a number of research studies going on looking for volunteers of all types to participate. This includes people aged 18 and over (unless otherwise stated) who:

  • Never drink/use drugs
  • Sometimes drink/use drugs
  • Drink/use drugs every day
  • People in treatment
  • People in recovery

Below is a list of our current research projects. If you are interested in any of the studies below, call (804) 827-3784 to learn more. You may also complete our pre-screen survey to see if a study may be a good fit for you by going to: https://redcap.vcu.edu/surveys/?s=9JJR9KD9JE

Currently Active Studies 

5-HT2AR:5HT2CR Balance in Brain Connectivity in Cocaine Dependence 

VCU IRB# HM15289

Principal Investigator:  F. Gerard Moeller, MD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  Yes 

Study Description:  The main purpose of this study is to find out how the brain reacts to the medication called Mirtazapine and how this is related to cocaine addiction. Mirtazapine is a medicine that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression. More information about how the brain reacts to Mirtazapine may be helpful to develop new treatments for cocaine addiction. Measures of your memory and reaction time while you are in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner will be tested to find out whether there are differences in brain scans between people who have been using drugs and people who do not use drugs.

Adolescent Brain Cognition Development (ABCD) Study 

Principal Investigator:  James M Bjork, PhD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  Yes 

Study Description:  This is a multi-site study that started in 2016 and will be the largest of its kind to date, enrolling almost 12,000 healthy youth from across the United States.  At our site, approximately 550 youth are participating with their parents in yearly follow-up visits.  These visits vary in length between each year.  The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of mental, social, emotional, and physical development during this important stage of early life, and to learn more about why youth differ in their development.  We will try to determine how brain development, genetic factors, mental and physical health, education, peer and family relationships, activities and behaviors, and environmental exposure all influence young people as they mature.  In particular, we will try to identify which factors seem to promote better outcomes, including independence and emotional well-being; and which may increase a young person’s risk for a negative outcome, such as unhealthy habits and behaviors.  The results of this study may help in designing new interventions that prevent negative and increase positive outcomes in young people’s lives.  If you’re interested in finding out more about this study visit the main ABCD webpage.

Decision-Making and Health in Spinal Cord Injury

VCU IRB # HM20015187

Principal Investigator: James M. Bjork, PhD

Accepting New Participants: Yes

Compensation Available to Participants: Yes

Study Description: The main purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of factors that promote greater engagement in self-care behaviors in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).  To do this we are trying to learn more about differences between SCI patients in personality factors, decision-making styles, and other lifestyle habits such as smoking that may be linked to whether an SCI patient does or does not take care of his or her health. The results of this study will be used to help health care providers develop more effective patient education for patients with a new SCI, to help patients develop more motivation to take action and make lifestyle choices that keep an SCI patient in good health.  If you’re interested in finding out more about this study visit the Decision Neuroscience Lab website or call 804-585-8186.

Developing Laboratory Tasks of Memory and Attention for Brain Research

VCU IRB# HM20011919

Principal Investigator: James M. Bjork, PhD

Accepting New Participants: Yes

Compensation Available to Participants: Yes

Study Description: The purpose of this study is to help the research team at VCU develop computer tasks of memory and attention that can be used by clinical trials and other studies in the future. These tasks will be used to see if medicines help improve memory and attention abilities in people who have difficulty with attention and memory, such as people who use drugs or alcohol. These tasks will present pictures or other information that may distract a person completing the tasks, in order to make it a little harder.  If you’re interested in finding out more about this study visit the Decision Neuroscience Lab website or call 804-828-4085.

The Effects of Stress and Social Isolation From the Covid-19 Pandemic

VCU IRB #HM20019630 

Principal Investigator: Albert Arias, MD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  No

Study Description: To examine the effects of stress and social isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of persons with addictive disorders, with particular attention to effects on drug and alcohol use (and relapse), as well as emotional well-being.

Feasibility and Validation of a Standard Phenotyping Assessment Battery (PhAB)

VCU IRB #20012559

Principal Investigator:  Lori Keyser-Marcus, PhD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  Yes

Study Description: The overall goal of this project is to collect preliminary data on psychosocial measures and behavioral performance comparing individuals with Opioid Use Disorder, Cocaine Use Disorder, dual diagnosis of Opioid and Cocaine Use Disorder, and Healthy Controls in an effort to determine the overall feasibility of a phenotypic "fingerprint" for cohorts of individuals with addictions for use during clinical trials. 

Interactive Effects of Chronic Opiates and HIV on Human Brain and Behavior 

Principal Investigator:  James M Bjork, PhD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  Yes 

Study Description:  The purpose of this study is to learn more about what certain “opiate” medications (such as methadone or pain medications like Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin) and infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) do to the brain. This includes looking at the shape of parts of the brain, or whether HIV or opiate medication use affect how the human brain works to help us get rewards and avoid losses, how your brain works when you have to try to control your actions, and how the structure of parts of your brain may relate to whether or not you have HIV or whether or not you take opiate medication every day.  If you’re interested in finding out more about this study visit the Decision Neuroscience Lab website or call 804-828-4085.

Motivation and Inhibition in the Adolescent Brain- Developmental and Individual Differences in Substance Abuse Risk (Reward Processing Study)

VCU IRB # HM20002732

Principal Investigator: James M. Bjork, PhD

Accepting New Participants: Yes

Compensation Available to Participants: Yes

Study Description: The purpose of this study is to learn more about how the brain works when teenagers and adults act to get rewards and avoid losses, how your brain works when you have to try to control your actions, and how the brain might work differently between people who do and don’t use drugs.  This study is for youth ages 12-17 years old along with their parent/guardian and adults.  If you’re interested in finding out more about this study visit the Decision Neuroscience Lab website or call 804-828-4085.

Neurobehavioral Signatures of Social Information Processing in Adolescents with Adverse Childhood Experiences (Adolescent Social Information Processing Study)

VCU IRB # HM20016087

Principal Investigator: James M. Bjork, PhD

Accepting New Participants: Yes

Compensation Available to Participants: Yes

Study Description: The purpose of this study to learn how childhood experiences relate to how the brain works when you see emotional faces. The computer games used in this study will present pictures of faces showing different emotions. This study will allow us to learn more about how different types of experiences in childhood affect someone’s brain when they are seeing faces.  This study is for youth ages 13-17 along with their parent/guardian. If you’re interested in finding out more about this study visit the Decision Neuroscience Lab website or call 804-828-4085.

Pre-Requisite Evaluation and Screening for CARI Research Eligibility and Enrollment (PRE-SCREEN) 

VCU IRB # HM20000294

Principal Investigator:  Lori Keyser-Marcus, PhD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  Yes 

Study Description The purpose of this screening is to learn if you qualify for a study that either provides treatment for substance abuse or helps provide information about substance abuse that potentially can lead to new treatments. You have been asked to participate in this screening to serve as a (non-drug using) comparison to people who use substances of abuse. 

Motivation and Inhibition in the Adolescent Brain-Developmental and Individual Differences in Substance Abuse Risk

 Principal Investigator:  James M Bjork, PhD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  Yes 

Study Description:   The purpose of this study is to learn more about how the brain works when teenagers and adults act to get rewards and avoid losses, and how the brain might work differently between people who do and don’t use drugs. 

Open-Label Pilot Study of Perampanel for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder

VCU IRB #HM20015846

Principal Investigator: Albert Arias, MD

Compensation Available to Participants: Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted? No

Study Description: The main goal of the study is to determine if Perampanel reduces drinking in a small, open-label, pilot study, which would provide a strong rationale for further clinical trials with this medication. Perampanel is an FDA approved anticonvulsant, which has shown to have clear potential in treating people with alcohol addictions. More information about how people with alcohol use disorders react to Perampanel may be helpful to develop new treatments for alcohol addiction.

Rapid Determination of The Clinical Utility of Perampanel for the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence

VCU IRB # HM20014445

Principal Investigator: Albert Arias, MD

Compensation Available to Participants: Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted? No

Study Description: The purpose of this study is to determine whether perampanel alters the response to alcohol for heavy drinkers. It is hypothesized that perampanel will reduce the rewarding and reinforcing properties of alcohol in the laboratory setting.

Utilization of Buprenorphine in Emergency Room to Treat Clinical Opioid Withdrawal

VCU IRB # HM20012543

Principal Investigator:  F. Gerard Moeller, MD

Compensation Available to Participants:  No

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  No 

Patients who overdose may be interested in seeking treatment at higher rates than others. This trial seeks to provide these patients will early intervention after an overdose from opioids to see if immediate care impacts long term outcomes.

Zonisamide Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder: An Evaluation of Efficacy and Mechanism of Action

VCU IRB #: HM20014185

Principal Investigator: Albert Arias, MD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  No

Summary: This is an alcohol treatment study to determine if Zonisamide is effective in helping to reduce drinking. This treatment study lasts 16 weeks and involves 8 visits to CARI. Study visits include brief medical management counseling, questionnaires, and a new supply of study medication.

 

Recently Completed Studies

Fingerprinting of impulsivity in four Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Version 5 (DSM-5) Psychiatric Disorders That Have Been Clinically Associated with Impulsivity Using a Battery of Questionnaires and Behavioral Laboratory Tests 

Principal Investigator:  Lori Keyser-Marcus, PhD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  Yes

NCT02722174 

Study Description:   The study aims to examine a battery of behavioral and questionnaire measures in 4 disorders clinically associated with impulsivity and in healthy controls, too: 1) investigate if the different populations have a distinct behavioral profile, and 2) to investigate if there are specific measures that are reliable and sensitive measures of impulsivity across diagnoses

Striatal Effective Connectivity to Predict Treatment Response in Cocaine Misuse (Complete)

Principal Investigator:  Liangsuo Ma, PhD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  Yes

NCT02080819 

Study Description:  The main purpose of this study is to find out how to better predict how a person will respond to treatment for cocaine addiction. This study will also test whether behavior therapy plus Levodopa/Carbidopa is a treatment approach that works for cocaine addiction. Measures of your memory and impulsivity (having a tendency to act on sudden urges or desires) while you are in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner will be tested to see if they predict how a person does in treatment.

A Phase 1 Double-Blind, Double-Dummy, Parallel-Group, Randomized, Positive Control Study Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Evaluate the Effect of NKTR-181 on Brain Activity in healthy, non-physically Dependent Recreational Opioid Users

WIRB® Protocol #20182421

HM20014134

NKTR-181 is a new medication being developed for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic low back pain with the goal of providing effective pain control while reducing potential side effects, including drug abuse potential. NKTR-181 has been designed to have a slow rate of entry into the brain to reduce the potential for drug abuse. This study will compare the effects of NKTR-181 to oxycodone by looking at MRI images of the brain and taking blood samples.

Cue Reactivity Functional MRI (fMRI) to Assess Compounds for Opioid Use Disorder and Cocaine Use Disorder

VCU IRB #HM20003329

Principal Investigator:  Joel L. Steinberg, MD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  No 

Study Description: The main purpose of this study is to find out how the brain reacts to the medication called lorcaserin and how this is related to cocaine and/or opioid addiction. Lorcaserin is a medicine that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of obesity. More information about how the brain reacts to lorcaserin may be helpful to develop new treatments for cocaine addiction. Measures of attention, concentration, and impulsivity while you are in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner will be tested to find out whether there are differences in brain scans between people taking the lorcaserin and people taking a placebo. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a noninvasive test that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the brain. fMRI looks at blood flow in the brain to detect areas of activity. These changes in blood flow, which are captured on a computer, help scientists understand more about how the brain works. The medication that you receive will be assigned randomly. That means the decision is made “by chance”, like the flip of a coin. Using the active study medication and placebo will test whether the medication reacts differently with the brain. At some point in the study, you will receive a placebo and/or study medication. 

Drug Interaction and Self Administration Studies of Compounds for Cocaine Use Disorder 

(no longer recruiting)

VCU IRB #HM20003768

Principal Investigator:  F. Gerard Moeller, MD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  No

NCT02537873 

Study Description:  The main purpose of this study is to find out how the medication lorcaserin reacts with cocaine and the effects of lorcaserin on cocaine self-administration and how cocaine makes a person feel. Lorcaserin is a medicine that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of obesity under the trade name Belviq. More information about how Lorcaserin reacts with cocaine may be helpful to develop new treatments for cocaine addiction.

Drug Interaction and Subjective Effects of Compounds for Opioid Use Disorder 

VCU IRB # HM20008062

Principal Investigator:  F. Gerard Moeller, MD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  No 

Study Description: The main purpose of this investigational study is to find out how the medication lorcaserin reacts with oxycodone and the effects of lorcaserin on how oxycodone makes a person feel. lorcaserin is a medicine that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of obesity under the trade name Belviq. Oxycodone is a medicine that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of pain under a variety of trade names including OxyContin and OxyIR. More information about how Lorcaserin reacts with Oxycodone may be helpful to develop new treatments for addiction to Oxycodone and other opioids.

Assessment of Longitudinal Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) as a Brain Measure for Impulsivity in a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Model 

(no longer recruiting)

Principal Investigator:  James M Bjork, PhD

Compensation Available to Participants:  Yes

Healthy Volunteers Accepted?  Yes

NCT02755181 

Study Description:  This study aims to use resting-state and task-based functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) as a tool to evaluate trait characteristics of impulsivity in subjects with a borderline personality disorder.

 

 

View graphic versionView graphic version