Current Research Studies

All of our studies are conducted at the Family Health Center, convieniently located at 26 Queen Street across from Community Healthlink in Worcester, Massachusetts.

For more information about any of our current studies, please call 508-856-MIND(6463) or email

Smoking Study

The goal of this study is to find out whether use of a web-based decision support program leads to higher rates of people starting treatment to stop smoking than a computerized educational pamphlet. You will be compensated for your time.

Nitroprusside Study

The goal of this 6-week research study is to assess the effectiveness of Sodium Nitroprusside, an FDA approved drug for management of hypertension, can improve symptoms of schizophrenia. We seek men and women ages 18-60 with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Participants will be compensated for their time and travel, and all information will be kept private.

The Early Treatment Study

The goal of this study is to compare the standard treatment for psychosis with a treatment version of the medication aripiprazole that is taken only once each month. Study participants at this study location will receive the care your center usually provides. Those who qualify will receive study-related medical exams, and lab tests at no charge. People in this study will be compensated for their time. In order to participate in the study, individuals must be evaluated by a study doctor and meet certain criteria including, but not limited to:

  • male or female aged 18-35
  • have a clinical diagnosis of psychosis and up to 5 years of antipsychotic medication exposure

Tardive Dyskinesia Study 

Do involuntary body movements have a hold on you? We invite those who are experiencing involuntary movements in their face or other parts of their body – and suffer from schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or mood disorder – to see if they may qualify for the Kinect 4 Study. The purpose of this clinical research study is to evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of an investigational oral medication for tardive dyskinesia. Each individual will be evaluated to determine his or her eligibility. Those who qualify will receive study medication, study-related medical exams, and lab tests at no charge.

Schizophrenia and Alcohol Study

If you or a loved one suffers from schizophrenia and abuses alcohol, the Breakaway Study may be able to help.

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medication in treating schizophrenia in individuals ages 18 to 65 years old who abuse alcohol. Each individual will be evaluated to determine his or her eligibility to participate in the study. Each patient who qualifies will receive investigational medication, study-related medical exams, and laboratory tests at no cost. Compensation for time and travel may also be available.

Exenatide weekly injection as an adjunctive treatment in patients with schizophrenia

Have you been diagnosed with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective disorder? Are you interested in helping us learn if a drug called Exenatide may improve your memory and thinking?

If so, you may be eligible to participate in a research study at UMass Medical School. Studies suggest that Exenatide (an FDA-approved drug) can reduce inflammation, which may protect the brain and improve memory and thinking in individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Your participation in the study will last 24 weeks (6 months).

Treatment for Marijuana Use and Schizophrenia

People who have schizophrenia often abuse marijuana. We are studying whether FDA approved medication Clozapine can reduce marijuana use. The study lasts about 14 weeks and involves weekly meetings with the research staff, answering questions about substance use and current symptoms. Half the people in the study will get a medicine called “clozapine” and the other half will get a medicine called “risperidone”. People in the study will not know which type of pill they are getting.

We are looking for people who have been told they have schizophrenia, are willing to take medicine for schizophrenia, use marijuana regularly and are ages 18-55.

Evaluating the Use of a Metabolic Syndrome Educational Group as a Quality Improvement Initiative in the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center

This project involves the development and assessment of an educational group ran within the inpatient units on metabolic syndrome and modifiable lifestyle factors that contribute to the syndrome in patients on antipsychotic medications. The goal of this quality improvement initiative is to ultimately increase awareness and knowledge of metabolic syndrome and to increase patients' readiness to adapt lifestyle changes. Held in the Inpatient Psychiatric Units at UMass Memorial Medical Center, the curriculum of the educational groups will include: information on the indications and adverse effects of antipsychotic medications, the role of medication adherence in establishing and maintaining recovery, and the importance of integrating a healthy lifestyle while on these medications.

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