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College of Medicine

Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit

fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Studies

Breast Cancer & Cognition

Breast CancerAmong cancer survivors, "chemobrain" is a regularly mentioned, persistent side effect. Despite the frequency with which memory changes are discussed, we know very little about the effect of a cancer diagnosis and cancer therapy on memory and cognition. The purpose of this study is to identify the effects of chemotherapy on memory, perception, language and emotion. This is done by asking participants to perform a variety of cognitive tasks. Some of these tasks are performed with the use of a functional MRI brain scan, so we can look for alterations in brain physiology. Results from this study will document what changes actually occur as a result of cancer therapy, help us identify how long change persists and may point us toward future interventions for prevention and rehabilitation. Individuals who will be receiving chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer are eligible to participate.

If you would like to learn more, please call Barb Kelly at 802-656-9113 or email barbara.kelly@uvm.edu.

The ADHD fMRI Study

ADHD fMRI StudyThis study will collect preliminary data on cognitive functioning (attention, memory and decision-making) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in young adults (18-25) with ADHD. fMRI is a 3-dimensional picture of the brain using magnetic waves. We will ask participants to perform various cognitive tasks while in an fMRI machine to examine what areas of the brain are activated by these tasks. This will be a one-visit study (about 2 hours) conducted at the UVM Functional Brain Imaging Facility at Fletcher Allen Health Care (main hospital). Monetary compensation will be provided to participants.

Cognitive Processes in ADHD - A Brain fMRI Study

In this study we want to see how the brains of adults with ADHD function differently when asked to do tasks involving behavioral inhibition. To this end we are recruiting 100 non-smoking adults (18-65), 50 with and 50 without ADHD, and asking them to participate in two 2-hour study days in which they will perform a computer task while in the fMRI scanner.

Neurobiological Underpinnings of Cognition in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

This study is designed the same as the Adult Brain Study except we are studying the brain function of two younger age groups to better understand the neurobiological underpinnings of ADHD from a developmental aspect. We are testing how the brains of people with and without ADHD process information, as well as how teenagers process information differently than adults. We will be studying adolescents (13-18) and young adults (21-26) with and without ADHD. Participants will come to the hospital for two 2-hour study visits during which they will perform a computer task while in the fMRI scanner.

Nicotine Brain Study

Nicotine Brain StudyThe goal of this study is to use functional MRI to examine how nicotine improves impulse control and working memory in young adults (18-25) who either have or do not have ADHD. This study will look at patterns of brain activation associated with nicotine and methylphenidate (Ritalin, a common treatment for ADHD) to help understand how the differences in the brain functioning of people who have ADHD may affect their behavior. We are looking for 24 non-smoking young adults (18-25) who have, and 24 who do not have, ADHD. The volunteers will complete three 6-hour study visits in which they will receive nicotine alone, methylphenidate alone, or placebo and then be asked to perform computer tasks in the fMRI.

For information about these studies, contact Eva Doane, Research Assistant, at (802) 847-5444 or via email at ENDoane@uvm.edu.

Study of Impulsivity and Smoking in Women

This newly designed study will look at how nicotine affects impulsivity in women smokers and non-smokers. We will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine what areas of the brain are involved in nicotine's effect on impulsivity. fMRI is a 3-dimensional picture of the brain using magnetic waves. We are recruiting smoking and non-smoking women, ages 18 - 25, to participate in this study. This is a four-visit study. Monetary compensation will be provided to those who take part in the study.

For information about these studies, contact Eva Doane, Research Assistant, at (802) 847-5444 or via email at ENDoane@uvm.edu.

Fletcher Allen Health Care
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