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. 
 
Please note: Our studies are currently closed for recruitment. We will be starting new studies in the near future. Please check back for more information soon. If you would like more general information about our research, please contact Michelle Worthington at 646-754-5466.
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D-Cycloserine Augmentation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Delusions

The purpose of this study is to determine whether the antibiotic D-cycloserine improves the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in individuals experiencing delusions. At the very low dose used in this study, D-cycloserine enhances learning and memory. Based on our previous pilot study, we believe it may help people "unlearn" delusions that are causing them distress. We are currently seeking participants for this study. Participants will be enrolled in a 16 week program, receiving 12 sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy augmented by a weekly dose of either D-cycloserine or placebo. Our lab is currently seeking participants between the ages of 18-68 diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Delusional Disorder.

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

  • Diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, or Delusional Disorder
  • Age 18-68
  • Taking either no medicine or any antipsychotic except for clozapine

In order to protect the health and safety of our participants, those meeting any of the following criteria will be ineligible for participation:

  • Serious or unstable medical illness, including renal impairment, seizures, dementia, and anemia
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Current substance abuse within the past 6 weeks
  • Treatment with either clozapine or an antidepressant

The study includes 16 research visits. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive D-cycloserine or placebo for the duration of the study. Everyone participating in the study will undergo neurocognitive and clinical assessments. Participants will receive up to $400 for participating, and transportation reimbursement is also available. Cognitive behavIf you are interested in participating or referring someone to the study, please fill out our participation form or call 646-754-4803.  
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Intravenous Sodium Nitroprusside in Adults with Symptomatic Schizophrenia

The purpose of this study is to determine whether the medication sodium nitroprusside can help reduce symptoms in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. We are currently seeking participants for this study. Participants will be enrolled in a 6 to 8 week program, receiving 2 treatments of intravenous sodium nitroprusside and/or placebo.

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

  • Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
  • Age 18-65
  • Taking any antipsychotic for at least 8 weeks, with the same dose for at least 4 weeks

In order to protect the health and safety of our participants, those meeting any of the following criteria will be ineligible for participation:

  • Serious or unstable medical illness, including renal impairment, cardiac arrhythmia, heart failure, and history of heart attacks
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Current substance abuse within the past 3 months
  • Treatment with either chlorpromazine, PDE-5 inhibitors, and/or nitrites

The study includes 9 research visits. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive two treatments of intravenous sodium nitroprusside and/or placebo for the study. Everyone participating in the study will undergo neurocognitive and clinical assessments. Participants will receive up to $800 for participating, and transportation reimbursement is also available. 
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A Phase 2, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of AVP-786 (deuterated [d6]-dextromethorphanhydrobromide [d6-DM]/quinidine sulfate [Q]) as an adjunctive treatment for patients with residual schizophrenia

The purpose of this study is to determine whether dextromethorphan-quinidine (AVP-786) is effective in treating positive and negative symptoms for individuals in a non-acute phase of schizophrenia. We are currently seeking individuals who are diagnosed with schizophrenia and may be experiencing social withdrawal, depressed mood, trouble sleeping, and an overall lack of motivation. Participants will be enrolled in a 12-week study and will receive a daily dose of the study drug or placebo. 

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

  • Diagnosis of Schizophrenia, residual
  • Age 18-60
  • Taking an atypical antipsychotic for 3 months, with the same dose for at least 1 month
  • Have not been hospitalized as a psychiatric inpatient in the past 4 months

In order to protect the health and safety of our participants, those meeting any of the following criteria will be ineligible for participation:

  • Treatment with typical antipsychotics (haloperidol/Haldol, clozapine/Clozaril, chlorpromazine/Thorazine, loxapine/Loxitane) 
  • Serious or unstable medical illness, including renal impairment, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia, heart failure, and history of heart attacks
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Current alcohol or substance abuse within the past 6 months
  • Treatment with Cogentin in the past month
  • Treatment with MAOIs or tricyclic antidepressants
  • Treatment with ECT, rTMS or DBS in the past year

The study involves 8 in-person visits over the course of 12 weeks. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either AVP-786 or placebo for the duration of the study.  Everyone participating in the study will undergo neurocognitive and clinical assessments. Participants will receive up to $320 for participating, and transportation reimbursement is also available.