p a r t i c i p a t e

Please see our list of ongoing studies below.


Pediatric individual connectome

This study seeks children 9-10 years old to participate in high-sampling brain imaging and behavioral assessments. The purpose of the study is to precisely map individual children’s brain network organization and relate individual differences in the brain to cognitive and behavioral abilities. Participants will undergo 12 MRI scan sessions, during which they will be asked to watch movies, perform motor and cognitive tasks, and rest quietly. Participants will also perform a number of cognitive and behavioral tasks outside the scanner, and parents will be asked to complete online questionnaires. Participants will be compensated for their time. Contact Carolina D’Andrea for more information.

New Tics

This study seeks children 5-10 years old who are experiencing a recent onset of tics. The purpose of this research is to compare those children who go on to develop Tourette syndrome with children whose tics resolve over time. Participants will undergo clinical assessments, perform behavioral and cognitive tasks, provide a saliva sample, and undergo MRI scanning. Participants will also be asked to return for annual follow-up visits to track the presence or absence of tics. Visit newtics.org or contact Emily Bihun for more information.

Precision Tics

This study seeks 8-13 year olds who are diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome or have undiagnosed tics for at least one year. The purpose of this research is to look at tic-related brain activity in children with Tourette syndrome. The study comprises one screening visit and up to 10 MRI scan sessions within 4-10 weeks. During these visits participants will also be asked to perform different behavioral and cognitive tasks outside of the scanner while parents fill out online questionnaires. Participants will be compensated for their time. Contact Carolina D’Andrea for more information.

Longitudinal Tourette syndrome (LoTS)

This study seeks 10-14 year olds with tics (including Tourette syndrome and Chronic/Persistent Tic Disorder). The purpose of this research is to look at how the brain changes over time in children/adolescents with tics. The study consists of an MRI scan, cognitive tasks, and clinical interviews now and again in two years. Participants will be compensated for their time. Contact us for more information.

What to Expect

The clinical research assistant will meet you in the lobby of the East Building. The study you are participating in will be further explained to you, you will be screened for eligibility, and you will sign consent documents. Questionnaires and other study documents will be completed at this time. If the study in which you’re participating involves MRI scanning, a mock scan may be completed first. This is a simulation of the real MRI scan. It provides you with an opportunity to see the scanning environment and get a better understanding of what a real scan is like. We are then able to determine if you can tolerate lying still for the scan portions of the study. Depending on the study, you may also complete additional motor and neuropsychological assessments.

The study team wants you to be comfortable. Please let us know how we can best accommodate you. We have snacks and drinks available to you. We try to be as flexible as possible with scheduling study visits. In addition, please remember that your participation is entirely voluntary and you may quit at any time or omit portions of the study. We are excited to have you participate!

MRI Scanning

If you are participating in a study that includes MRI scanning, you will be asked to change into MR compatible, disposable scrubs. Alternatively, you can bring an outfit of your own to be approved by the research assistant. The clothing needs to be 100% cotton (no synthetics), including underwear and socks. Remember to remove all metal from your body, including jewelry and hair accessories.

The MRI scans do not include radiation, sedation, or anesthesia. You will be required to fill out an MRI safety screening questionnaire to determine if it is safe for you to be scanned. The study staff will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during your scanning session. Earbuds are provided to minimize the sound levels of the scanner and allow voice communication with the scanner operator. You are asked to lie flat on a padded surface with pillows, sheets, and blankets for comfort. You are able to inform the scanner operator of any discomfort during the scan.

During a portion of the scans, you may watch a movie. We have a fairly wide selection of movies from which to choose, you may bring your own movie (no Blu-rays), or choose something from Netflix.

External Resources

RadiologyInfo.org - RadiologyInfo.org tells you how various x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, radiation therapy and other procedures are performed. It also addresses what you may experience and how to prepare for the exams. The website contains over 200 procedure, exam and disease descriptions covering diagnostic and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and radiation safety and is updated frequently with new information. All material on the RadiologyInfo.org website is reviewed and approved by experts in the field of radiology from the ACR and RSNA, as well as other professional radiology organizations.

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