Research Trials

Listed below are the research trials currently being conducted at the Psychiatric Research Institute. Unless otherwise noted, all of them are currently accepting participants. See the respective contacts for each trial for more information.

Center for Health Services Research

Stress in Meth

The purpose of this study is to learn more about how people who use methamphetamine respond to stressful events, such as being in an emergency department (ED) setting. By doing this study, we also hope to find out whether certain tasks make a space at UAMS that looks like an ED seem more like an actual ED. Up to 20 methamphetamine-using participants between the ages of 21 and 55 years old will be part of this study. This is not a treatment study.

This study involves three 3-hour visits to UAMS, including an in-person screening session and two laboratory day sessions. At the first laboratory day session, participants will be asked to either respond to three different scenarios or to imagine the circumstances surrounding their most stressful visit to an emergency department. Participants will then be asked to complete a simple arithmetic task. At the second laboratory day session, participants will be asked to watch a nature video instead of completing a speaking task and an arithmetic task.

There is no cost to participate in this study and participants will be compensated for their time.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Male or female
  • Ages 21-55
  • Have been previously inside an ED as either a patient or visitor
  • Recent history of methamphetamine use
  • Able to attend three 3-hour visits to UAMS

This study is currently accepting participants. For more information, e-mail Dr. Michael Wilson at or contact the DEMBER Lab at (501) 570-6362. All calls are confidential.

Brain Imaging Research Center

Prospection, Time and Addiction (PTA)

This project studies how addiction may change the way people think about themselves and their futures. Future-oriented thinking, or “prospection”, relies upon self-control processes that bias behavior away from impulsive and immediate reinforcers in favor of greater long-term reward. In addition to studying how addiction changes this cognitive process and its neural correlates in adult men and women, this study will also explore the development of prospective thinking among adolescents at risk for developing drug use disorders. The long-term goal of this project is to incorporate a science-based rationale for the development of prospection-related interventions to prevent and treat drug addictions.

Please contact Natalie Morris at or call (501) 420-2653 for more information.

Cognition and Multiple Sclerosis (COMS)

The goal of this study is to understand how multiple sclerosis (MS) may impact cognition and behavior. We are looking for adult men and women with or without MS to participate in this study. Participants will be asked to come to UAMS for two visits. On the first visit, we will conduct confidential interviews about MS symptoms and give cognitive tests. This visit takes about 3 hours to complete. On the second visit, the participant will complete a MRI scan to map brain structure and function. The MRI takes about one hour, with the entire visit taking about 1 ½ hours to complete. Participants will be compensated up to $150 for their time.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Male or Female
  • Ages 25-55
  • (a) Patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis OR (b) Healthy subjects with no history of neurologic illness
  • No internal metals
  • No other major medical conditions

Please call or text the Brain Imaging Research Center at (501) 420-2653 for more information.

Center for Addiction Research

Optimizing Retention, Duration and Discontinuation Strategies for Opioid Use Disorder Pharmacotherapy (RDD)

The goal of this Center for Addiction Research study is to determine which medication approaches work best for people with opioid use disorder. Opioids include fentanyl, heroin, and prescription pain relievers (e.g., hydrocodone (Vicodin®, Norco®, Lortab®), oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®,), hydromorphone (Dilaudid® etc).The participant may choose one of two study drugs – Buprenorphine or VivitrolTM. Buprenorphine is used to treat people with opioid problems by managing opioid withdrawal symptoms. Vivitrol is used to help people, who have successfully stopped taking any opioids, remain abstinent.

If the participant selects Buprenorphine, the participant must agree to be randomly assigned to one of three conditions: 16mg/day of sublingual Buprenorphine (Suboxone®), 32mg/day of sublingual Buprenorphine (Suboxone®), or monthly XR- Buprenorphine injections. If the participant selects, VivitrolTM, they will need to show that they have not recently used opioids or have had one shot of VivitrolTM in the past month before receiving monthly VivitrolTM injections.

Half of participants will randomly be chosen to receive a phone app, Pear-002a. This app may be used to help track and manage cravings. Study participants will be expected to stay on study medication, meet with a study doctor for medication management, and communicate with research staff for up to 1.5 years, with more follow-up interviews with research staff periodically for another 6 months. There is no cost to participate in this study. Research subjects who are found eligible will receive monetary compensation for their time.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Ages 18+
  • Problem with opioids (heroin, fentanyl, prescription pain killers)

This study is currently accepting participants. For more information, call 501-526-7969.  All calls are confidential.