Adolescent Development Study
Larry J. Seidman, PhD, PI
This research project uses a genetic risk research strategy to better understand vulnerability to psychosis.
Central Aims of the Study
- To identify risk factors for psychological symptoms and social problems in adolescent and young adult children and siblings of people with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression with psychosis.
- To identify and describe brain structure and function in individuals at genetic risk for psychoses, and determine if changes in brain structure and/or function are related to the onset of psychosis or increases in psychological symptoms and problems.
- To establish a program to monitor adolescents and young adults at genetic risk for psychosis over time to support future research projects, particularly those that focus on risk and protective factors and early intervention strategies.
This study aims to include adolescents and young adults (13-25 years of age) who are either children or siblings of people with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression with psychosis, and thus are at "genetic risk" for psychosis on the basis of a family history of psychosis. The study also includes "low risk" healthy control adolescents and young adults of the same ages. All adolescent and young adult subjects will receive a baseline assessment that includes clinical interviews about family history, cognitive testing (called neuropsychological assessment), and completion of measures of psychological symptoms and social and family functioning. Family members, most often a parent, also participate in some of these interviews and complete some measures related to how the study participant is doing day to day. These evaluations can occur in people's homes or at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.
All adolescent and young adult subjects will also take part in structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at Massachusetts General Hospital in Charlestown, MA. All adolescent and young adult subjects and their well parent or caregiver will be monitored for changes in psychosocial functioning at six-month intervals. In further follow-up, all adolescent and young adult subjects will be asked to repeat a clinical assessment, neuropsychological and structural/functional MRI at two years after their baseline assessment. Given the wide age range for the onset of psychotic disorders, study participants will be monitored over many years, as funding permits.
For more information, please contact:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
401 Park Drive, 2nd Floor East Wing
Boston, MA 02215