Schizophrenia Research Group

The research projects conducted in our lab are primarily focused on identifying the most effective treatments-medication and psychotherapy-for psychosis that decrease symptoms and improve functioning. 
We are currently recruiting for the following study. If you would like more information about our research, please contact Michelle Worthington at 646-754-4803.

A Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating the effects of Levetiracetam in early psychosis

The purpose of the study is to determine the efficacy of two different doses of the anticonvulsant levetiracetam (Keppra) in people with early psychosis who have not taken antipsychotic medication by examining the effects on the brain. We are currently seeking participants with early psychosis who have not taken antipsychotic medication for at least 4 weeks.

To be considered eligible, participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Schizotypal, or Schizophreniforrm Disorder
  • Age 16-35
  • Must not have taken antipsychotic medication within 4 weeks prior to study enrollment
  • Must have experienced a first episode of nonaffective psychosis within  5 years and exhibit current psychosis
  • In order to protect the health and safety of our participants, those meeting any of the following criteria will be ineligible for participation:
  • Current substance abuse or positive urine toxic screen (recreational use of marijuana is permitted)
  • Diagnosis of major mood disorder or other Axis I disorder
  • Current or recent suicidal ideation
  • Pregnant or nursing or positive urine test
  • History of any neurological disorder such as seizures, history of loss of consciousness or head trauma
  • Any metal implants, pacemaker, or other metal in the body or medicinal patch
  • History of claustrophobia
  • Currently taking any psychotropic medication within the past 4 weeks, including antidepressant medications, benzodiazepines, antipsychotic medications, mood stabilizers, anti-epileptic medications, and stimulants

The study includes 2 in-person visits. During the first of two visits, participants will spend approximately 60 minutes to sign informed consent and complete screening. During the second visit, participants will have brain imaging before and after a single dose of the study drug and will complete some questionnaires and a blood test over a period of about 4 hours. All study participants will receive $200 for their time in addition to reimbursement for travel; meals will be provided for the second study visit.