OCD MRI study for teenagers aged 16-19 Cambridge University

Posted on: December 15th, 2022

The University of Cambridge is investigating the brain bases of adaptive behaviour/learning in adolescents and the implications for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (Ethical approval no. REC: 16/EE/0465 supported by NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre: Mental Health Theme). They previously carried out a similar study in adults and have found promising results that are in preparation for publication. They are now aiming to deepen their knowledge of brain development by testing the same neurocognitive processes in teenagers.  

Specifically, their research aims to find out more about the brain chemicals relevant to adaptive behaviour and learning. To do this, they will use a non-invasive, well-tolerated brain imaging technique, called Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This will allow them to learn how the brain works by looking at the flow of chemicals to different brain parts while the brain is at rest. For this, they hope to gain a better understanding of the psychological, behavioural, and neural characteristics of the developing brain. Furthermore, by analysing brain data from people both with and without OCD, they hope to identify possible differences between the two groups which could inform novel drug therapies for OCD. 

For this study, they are looking for:  

  • Teenagers aged 16 to 19 years old 
  • Both with and without OCD  
  • No permanent dental braces or lingual wires (normal fillings are fine) 

Study participation involves an MRI scan which takes place at the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre in Cambridge, Addenbrooke’s Hospital site and computerized games outside of the scanner. They will assess potential participants’ eligibility for an MRI scan. They can see participants on weekdays, weekends and during the school holidays. For a more detailed description of the study, you can get in touch with them at robbinslab@psychol.cam.ac.uk – they are very happy to answer any questions you may have about our research or what it is like to be a part of behavioural neuroscience research.