Join the TIGER Study
Teen Inflammation Glutamate Emotion Research

Researchers at UCLA are partnering with adolescents who are about to start antidepressant treatment to study the relationship between stress and depression. Join our compensated study today!

Fast Facts

Symptoms of depression

about to start antidepressant treatment

14-21 years old

Compensation Provided

Conducted in los angeles

Study Background

This study aims to investigate how depression in high-school and college-aged individuals affects their behavior, their biological markers of stress, and their brains.

Participants will be asked to tell the study team about their emotions and experiences, complete short computerized tasks, undergo MRI scans of their brain, and give blood/saliva samples for biomarker testing.

We hope that data collected from this study will be able to guide clinicians in developing treatment plans for teens with depression, as well as identify markers for those who may be resistant to treatment. Further research today and join our compensated study!

Additional Information

It is our hope that this research study will help us to identify depression earlier and potentially to come up with new ways to treat depression.

You or your teen may qualify for this study if you meet the following criteria.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 14-21 years old
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Currently being seen by a clinician who will treat you with an antidepressant
  • Not currently taking any antidepressants, mood stabilizers, hormone supplements, or steroids
  • Caregiver consent (if under 18)
  • Able to undergo an MRI scan (no braces or non-removable metal)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Primary mental health diagnosis other than depression
  • Use of stimulants
  • Any substance use disorders
  • Concussion in the last 6 weeks, or any concussion where you lost consciousness for more than 10 minutes
  • Inflammatory conditions or use of anti-inflammatory medications
  • Any major neurological or developmental disorders that would interfere with your ability to complete the study procedures
  • Lifetime history of mania, psychosis, or bipolar disorder
  • Immediate family with a history of, or suspected, mania or psychosis

Participants will be involved in this study for a total of 18 months with study events at 7 time points, roughly every 3 months. 

The first time point will occur prior to starting antidepressant treatment and will involve clinical interviews, filling out questionnaires, undergoing MRI scans, providing blood/saliva samples, completing cognitive tasks, and the creation of a social media profile. The questionnaires, interviews, and profile creation will take up to 5 hours and can take place on Zoom or on campus at UCLA. 

The MRI scans, cognitive tasks, and blood/saliva samples comprise a second part of the visit which will take place at the USC Keck School of Medicine in East LA about 1-2 weeks later after the initial visit and will last up to 4 hours. At the second time point, 3 months later, following antidepressant treatment, all study procedures, with the exception of the social media profile, will be completed again. The following 5 time points will be completed over Zoom and will include a brief clinical interview and questionnaires. These online follow-up assessments will take up to 2 hours.

Yes, payment will occur throughout the study as procedures are completed unless otherwise directed. You have the chance to earn up to $1,200 after completing all portions of the study. You will also receive reimbursement for parking and transportation costs if necessary, as well as a picture of your brain.

There is no cost for you or your teen to participate in this study.