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Research Procedures


All adolescents and young adults who want to participate in research or receive clinical services through the RAP Program will be screened for eligibility (See Referral Process). If eligible, participants will undergo a comprehensive evaluation consisting of several procedures that give us as much information as possible about the nature of the problems. This comprehensive evaluation, while more time consuming than a typical intake at other clinics, helps us to focus on the pertinent issues and determines the need for further referrals and treatment.

Initial Evaluation

The comprehensive evaluation consists of the following procedures:

  • Clinical interviews with adolescents/young adults and, in some cases, their parents/caretakers
    to obtain a detailed history of the presenting problems, identify and diagnose many types
    of mental illnesses, and to develop treatment recommendations.
  • Neuropsychological testing with the adolescent/young adult to measure important brain functions such as memory, attention, general knowledge, reasoning ability and problem solving. 

You will receive feedback on the above procedures. 

As part of our cutting-edge research program, adolescents and young adult participants 
may also receive the following procedures:
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan is performed to obtain pictures of the structures of the brain. During the MRI, you will lie down on a narrow bed which is then slid into a small tunnel that houses a magnet.  You will be asked to lie still for about 50 minutes.  During the scan, you can talk to the study staff and you can hear them talk to you.     

alt = MRI

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) procedure measures the amount of activity which occurs in different parts of the brain while the person is attending to a computer task. For this procedure an elastic cap is placed on the head and electrodes are attached to the cap. While wearing the cap, the participant is asked to listen to sounds and view graphic arrays on a computer. 

alt = EEG

  • Blood samples are taken for genetic studies. Samples are de-identified, which means that they will not be linked to the donor and, thus, no results will be given to participants.
  • Saliva samples are collected for study of cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone in the body that is reactive to stress. Saliva is obtained by having participants spit into collection tubes at the lab and at home.


Follow Up Evaluations

Participants return to the RAP Program every 2 to 6 months for up to 2 years, depending on the study. Research procedures are repeated at follow up to allow us to track clinical and brain changes over time. Some visits include only clinical interviews and can be conducted over the phone. 

Costs and Compensation

All research procedures including neuropsychological testing, MRI, EEG, blood draw, saliva samples, and some interview measures are paid for through research grants to the RAP Program. As such, participants and/or their insurance company are not billed for these procedures. In fact, given that the procedures take several hours to complete, we compensate (pay) participants for their time and effort. If you want to receive clinical services through the RAP Program, see Clinical Options for details about fees.