Current Studies

 

Research trialsScience research wouldn’t be able to progress without the help of healthy and patient participants like you. The Neurocognitive Dynamics Laboratory Lab has three shielded experiment rooms on the campus of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Our lab sometimes performs research with pen and paper or a computer. These experiments typically last 30 minutes to an hour.

Our lab sometimes performs research with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Before we begin the research part, we will review safety forms, explain the session, and obtain your consent. Then we can scan your brain as you lie still in the scanner or play computerized games there. These experiments typically last one to three hours.

Our lab sometimes performs research with electroencephalography (EEG) nets like hair nets or swim caps. Before we begin the research part, we will review safety forms, explain the session, and obtain your consent. Then we can get started. It takes several minutes to apply the sensors properly, so you may watch TV or play games on your phone during that time. Then we’ll ask you to either lie or sit still in our testing room, and we’ll have you play computerized games there. These experiments typically last one to three hours.

Listed below are the research trials currently being conducted at the Neurocognitive Dynamics Laboratory. Unless otherwise noted, all of them are currently accepting participants.

Probing and Understanding the Brain: Micro and Macro Dynamics of Seizure and Memory Networks

The purpose of this research study is to help us better understand how the brain changes its activity before, during and after a seizure and how those changes affect the brain’s ability to create and recall memories.  To accomplish that goal, we must obtain information both from individuals who suffer from epilepsy and individuals who have never had a seizure or brain injury. Forty (40) people 18 years or older who have epilepsy and 20 people 18 years or older who have never had a seizure or brain injury will take part in this study. Eligible individuals with epilepsy who provide consent to participate will be asked to perform several memory tasks while wearing a cap to measure the electrical activity of their brain using electroencephalography (EEG). These EEG assessments of memory will be conducted on at least 2 separate occasions during the study. For the healthy participants there will usually only be one study visit during which the memory tasks would be completed while wearing the cap to measure the electrical activity in the brain using EEG.  All participants who complete EEG assessments will be reimbursed $50 for each visit.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Male or female
  • Age 18 or older
  • Patients previously diagnosed with epilepsy or healthy control participants who have no history of seizures or brain injury and no major medical conditions.

This study is currently accepting participants. Please contact Aaron S. Kemp at ASKemp@uams.edu, or call (501) 526-8291 for more information.

A Multimodal Interrogation of Cognitive-Motor Network Integration in Parkinson’s Disease

The purpose of this study is to try to understand why some people who have Parkinson’s disease develop a problem called “freezing of gait”. We believe that this problem may be related to cognitive problems that are also common among individuals with Parkinson’s disease and we are trying to determine whether certain brain networks may underlie the occurrence of both of these types of problems. In this pilot study clinical, behavioral, and electroencephalographic (EEG) data will be obtained from approximately 120 human participants who either have or have not been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. All consenting participants will undergo a clinical evaluation by a neurologist, and be administered a set of behavioral tasks to assess motor functions in upper and lower limbs, and an optional EEG to measure electrical activity in the brain. The current study will provide pilot data that will then be used in a grant proposal that we plan to submit to the National Institutes of Health. Participants will be reimbursed for their time spent completing the study procedures, which could range from $20 to $70, depending on whether you participate in some optional procedures, such as the EEG.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Male or female
  • Age range: 45-90
  • Patients previously diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) or healthy control (HC) participants who have no have no other neurological, psychiatric, or major medical conditions that may affect cognition or walking abilities.

Additional inclusion/exclusion criteria to be discussed with all interested in learning more.

This study is currently accepting participants. Please contact Aaron S. Kemp at ASKemp@uams.edu, or call (501) 526-8291 for more information.

Impact of buprenorphine-assisted treatment on sleep, mood and cognition among opioid use disorder patients

The purpose of this research study is to help us better understand the relations among sleep quality, mood disturbances, cognition function, and treatment outcomes in individuals with opioid use disorders who are participating in a buprenorphine maintenance therapy (BMT) program at UAMS. To accomplish that goal, we will obtain self-reported and quantitative measures of sleep, mood, and cognition from individuals who have recently started the BMT program and investigate how those measures change after 2 months and 4 months of participation in the BMT program, and whether any of these changes are predictive of treatment success. Participants will be reimbursed for their time spent completing the study procedures as follows: $45 for completing a series of questionnaires, cognitive tests, and an overnight sleep study; $25 for completing the same questionnaires and cognitive tests again after 2 months; and an additional $45 for completing the same questionnaires, cognitive tests, and another overnight sleep study after 4 months.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Male or female
  • Age 18 or older
  • Patients who are enrolled in the buprenorphine maintenance therapy (BMT) program at the UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute.

Additional inclusion/exclusion criteria to be discussed with all interested in learning more.

This study is currently accepting participants. Please contact Aaron S. Kemp at ASKemp@uams.edu, or call (501) 526-8291 for more information.