High Field Imaging


The main purpose of this study is to examine the brain in adolescents with and without depression using two different types of brain imaging machines. A secondary goal is to examine biological pathways related to chronic stress by studying the functioning of white blood cells, and to explore how those peripheral mechanisms are related to brain functioning.


INCLUSION CRITERIA (for all subjects)
  • Aged 13-17
  • English- Speaking
INCLUSION CRITERIA (for depressed teens)
  • Meet criteria for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
INCLUSION CRITERIA (for healthy teens)
  • No current or past psychiatric diagnoses
EXCLUSION CRITERIA (for all subjects)
  • Severe or acute medical illness
  • Past history of brain damage, seizures, mental retardation, or serious neurological disorder
  • Current diagnosis of substance use disorder
  • Previous history of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, or Autism
  • Refusal to cooperate with study procedures
  • Inability to have an MRI scan (claustrophobia, metal implants, braces, etc.)


​For the first visit, you will be asked to come to the Ambulatory Research Center (ARC) at the Fairview Riverside Hospital to complete a diagnostic interview regarding your medical and psychiatric symptoms and history. Participants under the age of 18 will also be asked to have a parent/guardian attend and participate in a separate interview. The participant and parent/guardian (if applicable) will also complete a number of questionnaires. This appointment would take 3-4 hours

​For this visit we will have you come to the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota Campus for 2 brain scans. First you will be scanned in a 7 Tesla MRI. You will lie in the MRI while the machine takes pictures of your brain. While you're in the scanner, you will be doing things like resting, and playing a game using a button box. The game involves looking at some pictures that are meant to make you feel a little uncomfortable. You will be asked to look at them, rate how negative they are and change how negatively you feel about them After you have completed the 7 Tesla MRI, we would have you complete a short (15 minute) scan on a 3 Tesla scanner. Before either of the scans, we will have you do a urine toxicology screen (drug test) and pregnancy test (if female). The result must be negative in order to continue with the study. This appointment would take 3 hours. 

If you would like to participate in the optional blood draw, 1 Tablespoon of blood (1 tube) would be drawn from a vein in your arm at the Fairview Riverside Outpatient Laboratory and sent to the Mayo Clinic. There your blood sample would undergo various analyses to investigate how chronic stress impacts cellular biology. The sample would be marked with a number and would have no identifying information about you. You would not receive any of the results of this testing.


​You will be compensated for your participation in this study. You will receive a total of $75 if you complete all portions of the study. If you only complete some portions of the study, you will be compensated for each portion you do complete.