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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of Neuropsychiatric Patients and Healthy Volunteers
This study is currently recruiting participants.
Verified by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC), February 2008
Sponsored by: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00004571

The purpose of this study is to use brain imaging technology to compare differences in brain structure, chemistry, and functioning in individuals with brain and mental disorders compared to healthy volunteers.

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that results from subtle changes and abnormalities in neurons. These deficits likely occur in localized regions of the brain and may result in widespread, devastating consequences. The neuronal abnormalities are inherited through a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors. Brain imaging technologies can be used to better characterize brain changes in individuals with schizophrenia. This study will use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to identify predictable, quantifiable abnormalities in neurophysiology, neurochemistry and neuroanatomy that characterize schizophrenia and other neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Bipolar Disorder
Mood Disorder
Parkinson's Disease

Genetics Home Reference related topics: familial paroxysmal nonkinesigenic dyskinesia Parkinson disease
MedlinePlus related topics: Bipolar Disorder MRI Scans Mental Health Parkinson's Disease Schizophrenia
U.S. FDA Resources
Study Type: Observational
Official Title: Structural and Functional Imaging of Neuropsychiatric Patients and Normal Volunteers With 3.0 Tesla MRI and Magnetoencephalography

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 2120
Study Start Date: February 2000
Detailed Description:

This protocol is meant to provide a matrix for multiple, simultaneous brain imaging investigations using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 3.0 Tesla (3T). We intend to study regional brain structure, physiology, and biochemistry in living human subjects, both healthy and ill. Based on multiple clinical, neuropathological, and functional neuroimaging studies, it is clear that schizophrenia is a brain disorder arising from subtle neuronal deficits (for lack of more specific terminology). These deficits likely arise in a few key regions such as dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hippocampal formation, that result in widespread, multifaceted, and devastating clinical consequences. These neuronal deficits are clearly heritable, although in a complex fashion from multiple genes interacting in an epistatic fashion with each other and the environment. We hypothesize that these neuronal deficits, clearly resulting in quantifiable behavioral abnormalities in schizophrenic patients, will produce predictable, quantifiable aberrations in neurophysiology that we can "map" using magnetic resonance imaging. In spite of numerous functional imaging findings, clinical applications remain scarce and pathognomic findings absent. Therefore, we do not anticipate that an approach based solely on any one modality is likely to significantly advance our knowledge base. Instead, we propose to create brain imaging datasets for individual human subjects predicated on 1) the appraisal of brain function from multiple domains simultaneously; 2) the characterization of brain function via summation and intercorrelation of these data; and 3) the digestion of these data based on the parsing of complex clinical phenomenology into quantifiable neurophysiological parameters. Thus, in addition to the identification of those parameters that best characterize and identify manifest schizophrenia (i.e., state variables), we hypothesize that some of these fundamental characteristics will be heritable. These fundamental characteristics, so-called endo- or intermediate phenotypes, represent powerful tools to find susceptibility genes and have already generated a number of linkage findings.

Precis of Substudy: Effects of prosocial neuropeptides on human brain function

The goal of this substudy is to delineate neural systems involved in fear processing, emotional memory, and cognition reactive to intranasally applied prosocial neuropeptides (oxytocin, vasopressin) as a prelude to defining genetic variation in humans impacting on this circuit.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes


No psychiatric or severe chronic medical illness at the time of the study, and by history. This includes the absence of substance abuse histories, learning disabilities and all DSM IV disorders. The investigators will evaluate medical histories and medical conditions that are judged not to interfere with the study may be allowed.

No use of psychotropic substances in the last 3 months.

There is no upper age limit. The lower age limit is 18 years.


Schizophrenia, any subtype or schizo-affective disorder according to DSM IV .

Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features according to DSM IV.

Menstrually-Related Mood Disorder.

Mild to Moderate Parkinson's Disease (Hoehn and Yahr Stage 1-3).

Williams Syndrome (partial or full) with IQ in the normal range.

Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.



Impaired hearing.


Head trauma with loss of consciousness in the last year, or any evidence of functional impairment due to and persisting after head trauma.

Patients or healthy volunteers with a known risk from exposure to high magnetic fields (e.g. patients with pace makers) and those who have metallic implants (e.g. braces) in the head region (likely to create artifact on the MRI scans) will be excluded from participating in the fMRI studies.


Coexistence of another major mental illness at the time of the study. If the patients experienced other mental illnesses in the past (e.g. a learning disability or major depression), then this should be judged to be fully recovered.

Criteria for substance abuse met in the last 6 months.

Criteria for substance dependence met in the last year. If criteria for dependence were met in the past, then the duration of the disorder was less than 3 years, or not judged to have produced long-term brain changes to allow the patient to be in the study.

Major concurrent medical illness likely to interfere with the acquisition of the task.

Concomitant medications which could interfere with performance on the task.

Presence of dyskinetic movements of the face and tongue (likely to interfere with eyeblink measures), or of gross involuntary movements of the whole body (likely to interfere with positioning in the MRI scanner).

Additional criteria for substudy: Effects of prosocial neuropeptides on human brain function

Inclusion. Subjects included will be young (less than 40 years), strictly normotensive (RR less than or equal to 130/80) and required to have a normal ECG.

Exclusion. Subjects are excluded that do not have a normal ECG and/or are not normotensive.

  Contacts and Locations
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00004571

Contact: Venkata S. Mattay, M.D. (301) 435-4594 vsm@mail.nih.gov

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike Recruiting
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
  More Information

NIH Clinical Center Detailed Web Page  This link exits the ClinicalTrials.gov site

Study ID Numbers: 000085, 00-M-0085
Study First Received: February 15, 2000
Last Updated: July 18, 2008
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00004571  
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Brain Metabolism
Brain Physiology
Neuropsychiatric Disorders
Mental Illness
Parkinson's Disease

Study placed in the following topic categories:
Paranoid Disorders
Ganglion Cysts
Bipolar Disorder
Basal Ganglia Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Brain Diseases
Affective Disorders, Psychotic
Movement Disorders
Parkinson Disease
Mental Disorders
Mood Disorders
Psychotic Disorders
Parkinsonian Disorders
Schizophrenia and Disorders with Psychotic Features

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Pathologic Processes
Nervous System Diseases

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on January 30, 2009